ma·​lar | \ ˈmā-lər How to pronounce malar (audio) , -ˌlär \

Definition of malar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the cheek or the side of the head



Definition of malar (Entry 2 of 2)

: zygomatic bone

called also malar bone

Examples of malar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Also called a malar rash, the red skin looks like a sunburn. NBC News, "What is lupus? What you need to know," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of malar


1782, in the meaning defined above


circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malar


borrowed from New Latin mālāris, from Latin māla (usually in plural mālae) "lower part of the face, cheeks, jaws" + -āris -ar ; māla perhaps going back to Italic *smaksla, going back to Indo-European *smḱ-slo-/sleh2-, whence, from *smeḱ-, Old Irish smech "chin," and, from *smeḱ- or *smoḱ- with a suffix *-r-, Lithuanian smãkras, smakrà "chin," Albanian mjekrë "beard, chin," Armenian mawrow-kʼ "chin," Sanskrit śmaśru- "beard," Hittite zamakur, zamankur "beard" (with irregular z for š)

Note: Latin māla has alternatively been explained as *mand-sla-, a derivative of mandere "to chew" (see mandible).


by ellipsis from malar bone

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about malar

Time Traveler for malar

Time Traveler

The first known use of malar was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Statistics for malar

Cite this Entry

“Malar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for malar


ma·​lar | \ ˈmā-lər How to pronounce malar (audio) , -ˌlär How to pronounce malar (audio) \

Medical Definition of malar

: of or relating to the cheek, the side of the head, or the zygomatic bone

More from Merriam-Webster on malar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with malar

Comments on malar

What made you want to look up malar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!