mar·​mo·​re·​al mär-ˈmȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce marmoreal (audio)
variants or less commonly marmorean
: of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue especially in coldness or aloofness
marmoreally adverb

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When Should You Use marmoreal?

Most marble-related words in English were chiseled from the Latin noun marmor, meaning "marble." Marmor gave our language the word marble itself in the 12th century. It is also the parent of marmoreal, which has been used in English since the mid-1600s. Marbleize, another marmor descendant, came later, making its print debut around 1854. The obscure adjective marmorate, meaning "veined like marble," dates to the 16th century and hasn't seen much use since.

Examples of marmoreal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And despite the sheen of sweat on her face, Rybakina’s smooth, cool demeanor gave her a marmoreal look. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 28 Jan. 2023 The marmoreal cool of Debbie Harry and the band's razor-sharp duds plastered across TV screens helped define the nascent new wave genre, which would set the tone for many a mallrat's wardrobe. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 27 Aug. 2020 Then there’s the marmoreal serenity of the shoulder lines. Dan Neil, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2018

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

Word History


Latin marmoreus, from marmor marble

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of marmoreal was in 1656


Dictionary Entries Near marmoreal

Cite this Entry

“Marmoreal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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