mar·​tial | \ ˈmär-shəl How to pronounce martial (audio) \

Definition of martial

1 : of, relating to, or suited for war or a warrior martial music a martial tone of voice— Tim Appelo martial prowess
2 : relating to an army or to military life martial discipline stories of martial tradition— Ewen Macaskill
3 : experienced in or inclined to war : warlike its martial people fought the British to a standstill— Mary Anne Weaver

Other Words from martial

martially \ ˈmär-​shə-​lē How to pronounce martial (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for martial



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Martial and Roman Mythology

Mars was the Roman god of war and one of the patron gods of Rome itself. He was responsible for everything military, from warriors to weapons to marching music. Thus, martial arts are skills of combat and self-defense also practiced as sport. When martial law is declared, a country's armed forces take over the functions of the police. And a court-martial is a military court or trial.

Examples of martial in a Sentence

the marching band played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and several other martial airs one of the basic tenets of martial law
Recent Examples on the Web Depictions of championship dogs representing nations other than the United States lean on stereotypes: There’s a taco-loving pup from Mexico, a seductress poodle from France, a wise martial arts expert from China and so on. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Locking-blade knives, a dagger, disposable scalpels, martial arts throwing knives and a pair of brass knuckles were discovered as the bag was placed in the checkpoint's X-ray machine on Wednesday. Bylauren Meltzer, ABC News, 5 May 2022 Bruce Lee sharpened his martial arts skills just a short walk away. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 5 May 2022 There are ten fight scenes ranging from classic swordplay to martial arts and even a food fight. cleveland, 2 May 2022 Wall work is not found in other martial arts, Oliver explains, and this is one of the things which makes MMA such a unique sport. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 2 May 2022 Students can participate in sports, mentorship opportunities or participate in a wide variety of activities like barber shop lessons and martial arts. Seamus Mcavoy, Hartford Courant, 2 May 2022 Corey is an accomplished martial-arts expert, a former tenured professor, and now a life coach and the author of a handful of self-help books. Stephen Rodrick, Rolling Stone, 1 May 2022 More embodied and integrated leadership approaches followed, often based on authors’ and teachers’ physical training in meditation, yoga, martial arts or sports. Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 1 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of martial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for martial

Middle English, from Latin martialis of Mars, from Mart-, Mars

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Time Traveler for martial

Time Traveler

The first known use of martial was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near martial

Mar Thoma



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Statistics for martial

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Martial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for martial


mar·​tial | \ ˈmär-shəl How to pronounce martial (audio) \

Kids Definition of martial

: having to do with or suitable for war martial music

Martial biographical name

Mar·​tial | \ ˈmär-shəl How to pronounce Martial (audio) \

Definition of Martial

circa a.d. 40–circa 103 Marcus Valerius Martialis Roman epigrammatist

More from Merriam-Webster on martial

Nglish: Translation of martial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of martial for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about martial


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