mar·​ten ˈmär-tᵊn How to pronounce marten (audio)
plural marten or martens
: any of several semiarboreal slender-bodied carnivorous mammals (genus Martes) of the weasel family that occur in the northern hemisphere
: the fur or pelt of a marten

Examples of marten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wolverines are in the Mustelidae family, a group of carnivorous mammals, along with weasels, mink, marten and otters, according got the National Park Service. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 29 Nov. 2023 In North America, the loss of large, old-growth trees could reduce the ranks of forest specialists, such as martens and fishers, members of the weasel family that den inside tree hollows. Emily Anthes, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2023 Beavers expand the water system on the Baldwin Peninsula, improving the conditions for fish and insects, which in turn creates more food for minks, otters and martens. Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2023 The researchers concluded that a wild animal—possibly the martens, feral cats, or even escaped mink—could have cryptically spread the SARS-CoV-2 lineage and introduced it to the three neighboring farms on separate occasions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 21 Apr. 2023 Interviews with owners and staff revealed that the farms were occasionally visited by wild martens, weasel-like carnivores. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 21 Apr. 2023 Alaska and Canadian marten should be $40 or better for good skins. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Dec. 2022 Solitary trappers poke trails into some remote sections in search of marten during the winter months, but with the dismal demand for furs, trappers are a disappearing breed. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2022 Pine marten, wildcats, and other rare species thrive. Cathleen O'Grady, The Atlantic, 20 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near marten

Cite this Entry

“Marten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


mar·​ten ˈmärt-ᵊn How to pronounce marten (audio)
plural marten or martens
: a slender flesh-eating mammal that is larger than the related weasels and has soft gray or brown fur
also : its fur

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