\ ˈmer How to pronounce mare (audio) \

Definition of mare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a female horse or other equine animal especially when fully mature or of breeding age
ma·​re | \ ˈmär-(ˌ)ā How to pronounce mare (audio) \
plural maria\ ˈmär-​ē-​ə How to pronounce maria (audio) \ also mares\ ˈmär-​(ˌ)āz How to pronounce mares (audio) \

Definition of mare (Entry 2 of 3)

: any of several mostly flat dark areas of considerable extent on the surface of the moon or Mars

Definition of mare (Entry 3 of 3)

: an evil preternatural being causing nightmares

First Known Use of mare

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1860, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mare

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English mere; akin to Old High German merha mare, Old English mearh horse, Welsh march

Noun (2)

New Latin, from Latin, sea — more at marine

Noun (3)

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German mara incubus, Serbo-Croatian mora nightmare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mare

Time Traveler for mare

Time Traveler

The first known use of mare was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mare

Cite this Entry

“Mare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mare. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mare


\ ˈmer How to pronounce mare (audio) \

Kids Definition of mare

: an adult female horse or related animal (as a zebra or donkey)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mare

Spanish Central: Translation of mare

Nglish: Translation of mare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mare for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mare

Comments on mare

What made you want to look up mare? 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

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!