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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


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: something that mars : blemish


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abbreviation (1)



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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
Their approach is based on the principle that each client receives the utmost attention, a rarity in a landscape often marred by a one-size-fits-all mentality. Nick Kasmik, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 According to Hotak’s son, the last few chapters of the book were hastily written, marred by grammatical errors, confusing jumps in time, and long, sentimental monologues. Jamil Jan Kochai, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Environments marred by negativity or toxicity, devoid of psychological safety and inclusivity, force employees into a defensive stance to shield their mental and emotional well-being, ultimately resulting in disengagement. Naz Beheshti, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Hayward’s days with the Hornets have been marred by injuries, something that puts extra burden on the bench players and throws a kink in the rotation. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 The current election cycle has been marred with violence and harassment, casting a long shadow over the proceedings. Kyra Colah, Fox News, 8 Feb. 2024 Yet those instances of heroism and the CIA’s many quiet successes remain far less well known to the American public than the mistakes that have sometimes marred the agency’s history. William J. Burns, Foreign Affairs, 30 Jan. 2024 Saving for eventually leaving the workforce while paying regular bills marred by inflation and digging out of the negatives becomes an even more trying feat. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024 This stunning memoir of a lonely childhood marred by a devastating attack and the reverberations throughout her life belongs on every reading list. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

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 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


marred; marring
: to make a blemish on : spoil

More from Merriam-Webster on mar

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