mar·​ten | \ ˈmär-tᵊn How to pronounce marten (audio) \
plural marten or martens

Definition of marten

1 : any of several semiarboreal slender-bodied carnivorous mammals (genus Martes) of the weasel family that occur in the northern hemisphere
2 : the fur or pelt of a marten

Examples of marten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pelts from these marten are used world-wide to make clothing for warmth and fashion. Toby Walrath, Outdoor Life, "Riding With the Marten Men," 7 Dec. 2020 Mink are members of the Mustelidae family that also includes weasels, badgers, otters, marten and wolverines. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two Taylor County mink farms under quarantine after more than 5,000 animals died from COVID-19," 6 Nov. 2020 Top prices for marten are around $70, and that is for the best — the average will come in far lower. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Fur is the ultimate insulator, but there are fewer trappers in Alaska these days," 18 Jan. 2020 Researchers also saw higher numbers of racoons, Japanese marten, a weasel-like animal, and Japanese macaque or monkeys in uninhabited or restricted zones. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Wildlife flourishing in uninhabited areas around Fukushima," 7 Jan. 2020 The meat-eating Humboldt marten is about the size of a kitten and is related to minks. Washington Post, "Oregon bans trapping of rare, cat-like Humboldt marten," 16 Sep. 2019 Interestingly, other animals occasionally visited the burrows—including an extinct relative of martens and weasels, probably looking to make a meal of the burrow’s maker. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How Scientists Resolved the Mystery of the Devil’s Corkscrews," 26 Nov. 2019 Growers often use rat poison to protect their crop, which kills martens, the groups said. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Wildlife officials ban the trapping of this cute, weasely creature in a bid to revive its population," 18 Sep. 2019 The rule bars trapping in the two national forests in the state where the only two marten populations live. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Wildlife officials ban the trapping of this cute, weasely creature in a bid to revive its population," 18 Sep. 2019

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

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First Known Use of marten

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for marten

Middle English martryn, from Anglo-French martrine marten fur, from Old French martre marten, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English mearth marten

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The first known use of marten was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Marten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of marten

: a small animal that is related to the weasel and has soft gray or brown fur
: the fur of a marten


mar·​ten | \ ˈmär-tᵊn How to pronounce marten (audio) \

Kids Definition of marten

: a slender animal related to the weasel that has soft gray or brown fur and often climbs trees

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More from Merriam-Webster on marten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for marten

Nglish: Translation of marten for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about marten

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