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[mair] /mɛər/
a fully mature female horse or other equine animal.
Origin of mare1
before 900; Middle English, variant of mere, Old English m(i)ere; cognate with Dutch merrie, German Mähre, Old Norse merr; akin to Old English mearh, Old Norse marr, Irish marc horse. See marshal
Can be confused
mare, mayor.


[mair] /mɛər/
noun, Obsolete.
nightmare (def 3).
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Mahre, Old Norse mara. See nightmare


[mahr-ey, mair-ee] /ˈmɑr eɪ, ˈmɛər i/
noun, plural maria
[mahr-ee-uh, mair-] /ˈmɑr i ə, ˈmɛər-/ (Show IPA).
any of the several large, dark plains on the moon and Mars: Galileo believed that the lunar features were seas when he first saw them through a telescope.
1680-90; < Latin: sea


[si-ree-nuh m] /sɪˈri nəm/
Mare, Mare Sirenum.


Marine Engineer.

mare nostrum

[mah-re nohs-troo m; English mair-ee nos-truh m, mahr-ey] /ˈmɑ rɛ ˈnoʊs trʊm; English ˈmɛər i ˈnɒs trəm, ˈmɑr eɪ/
noun, Latin.
our sea, especially the Mediterranean to the ancient Romans. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mare
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He's had just about time to make the trip on Shank's mare by takin' short cuts.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • A horse and mare, a boar and two sows, and a goat with kid were likewise given to him.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Then he mounted her on her mare again and summoned Ham Seay and me.

  • And he slapped the lines down on the mare's flank and jogged off through the dust.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • Of the four of them Martha the mare, who was dressed like a man, showed the least change.

    Lysbeth H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for mare


the adult female of a horse or zebra
Word Origin
C12: from Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German mariha, Old Norse merr mare


/ˈmɑːreɪ; -rɪ/
noun (pl) maria (ˈmɑːrɪə)
(capital when part of a name) any of a large number of huge dry plains on the surface of the moon, visible as dark markings and once thought to be seas: Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers)
a similar area on the surface of Mars, such as Mare Sirenum
Word Origin
from Latin: sea

mare nostrum

/ˈmɑːreɪ ˈnɒstrʊm/
the Latin name for the Mediterranean
Word Origin
literally: our sea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mare

"female horse," Old English mere (Mercian), myre (West Saxon), fem. of mearh "horse," from Proto-Germanic *markhjon- (cf. Old Saxon meriha, Old Norse merr, Old Frisian merrie, Dutch merrie, Old High German meriha, German Mähre "mare"), said to be of Gaulish origin (cf. Irish and Gaelic marc, Welsh march, Breton marh "horse"). No known cognates beyond Germanic and Celtic. As the name of a throw in wrestling, it is attested from c.1600. Mare's nest "illusory discovery, excitement over something which does not exist" is from 1610s.

"broad, dark areas of the moon," 1765, from Latin mare "sea" (see marine), applied to lunar features by Galileo and used thus in 17c. Latin works. They originally were thought to be actual seas.

"night-goblin, incubus," Old English mare "incubus, nightmare, monster," from mera, mære, from Proto-Germanic *maron "goblin" (cf. Middle Low German mar, Middle Dutch mare, Old High German mara, German Mahr "incubus," Old Norse mara "nightmare, incubus"), from PIE *mora- "incubus" (cf. first element in Old Irish Morrigain "demoness of the corpses," literally "queen of the nightmare," also Bulgarian, Serbian mora, Czech mura, Polish zmora "incubus;" French cauchemar, with first element from Old French caucher "to trample"), from root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (see morbid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mare in Science
Plural maria (mä'rē-ə)
Any of the large, low-lying dark areas on the Moon or on Mars or other inner planets. The lunar maria are believed to consist of volcanic basalts, and many are believed to be basins formed initially by large impacts with meteoroids and later filled with lava flows. Compare terra.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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