1 of 4


marred; marring

transitive verb

: to ruin or diminish the perfection or wholeness of : spoil
whose life has been marred by problems with drugsWilliam Plummer
their relations were marred by disgraceful conflictsL. W. Beck
the race was marred by a 23-car pileupMike Harris
: to inflict serious bodily harm on


2 of 4


: something that mars : blemish


3 of 4

abbreviation (1)



4 of 4

abbreviation (2)

Choose the Right Synonym for mar

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously.

injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success.

badly injured in an accident

harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss.

careful not to harm the animals

hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings.

hurt by their callous remarks

damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness.

a table damaged in shipping

impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution.

years of smoking had impaired his health

mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement.

the text is marred by many typos

Examples of mar in a Sentence

Verb A large scar marred his face. Her acting mars an otherwise great movie. Noun the Johnsons complained to the movers about broken dishes and mars on the furniture
Recent Examples on the Web
The Kremlin, hoping that no terrorist incident would mar the 2014 Winter Olympics, gave what was considered at least tacit approval for extremists from the Caucasus or from among the Central Asian immigrant communities in Russia to depart. Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 Western nations, including the United States, flocked to condemn the results, which were marred by protests and cases of voting fraud. Francesca Ebel, Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2024 The in memoriam sequence was, as is most often the case, marred by the extraneous performance — string players, interpretive dancers, the white-jacketed Oscars orchestra — that got in its way. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2024 This careful navigation will ensure that the benefits of the R&D Tax Credit are realized without falling into the pitfalls that marred the ERTC experience. Gary Romano, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 But the update has been marred by delays and technical glitches. Collin Binkley, Fortune, 25 Mar. 2024 The election was also marred by more graphic acts of defiance. Christian Edwards, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024 Some of the speakers — who included conservative lawmakers — claimed renewable energy projects were marring the countryside and selling out the nation to foreign companies. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2024 The ensuing lawsuits, alleging a pattern of criminal wrongdoing concealed by his power and resources, have marred Combs’ reputation. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English marren, from Old English mierran to obstruct, waste; akin to Old High German merren to obstruct

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1551, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mar was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mar

Cite this Entry

“Mar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


marred; marring
: to make a blemish on : spoil

More from Merriam-Webster on mar

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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