• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. Anatomy. a soft, fatty, vascular tissue in the interior cavities of bones that is a major site of blood cell production.
  2. the inmost or essential part: to pierce to the marrow of a problem.
  3. strength or vitality: Fear took the marrow out of him.
  4. rich and nutritious food.
  5. Chiefly British. vegetable marrow.

Origin of marrow1

before 900; Middle English mar(o)we, Old English mearg; cognate with Dutch merg, German Mark, Old Norse mergr
Related formsmar·row·ish, adjectivemar·row·less, adjectivemar·row·y, adjective


[mar-oh; Scot. mar-uh]
noun Scot. and North England.
  1. a partner; fellow worker.
  2. a spouse; helpmate.
  3. a companion; close friend.

Origin of marrow2

1400–50; late Middle English marwe fellow worker, partner, perhaps < Old Norse margr friendly, literally, many
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for marrow

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When she pressed a little she felt she distinguished the suffering cries of the marrow.


    Emile Zola

  • The bone was formed by sifting pure smooth earth and wetting it with marrow.



  • Worst of all and most fatal is the disease of the marrow, by which the whole course of the body is reversed.



  • The first principle of all of them was the generation of the marrow.



  • It is the pith and marrow of every substance, every relation, and every process.


    Ralph Waldo Emerson

British Dictionary definitions for marrow


  1. the fatty network of connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones
  2. the vital part; essence
  3. vitality
  4. rich food
  5. British short for vegetable marrow
Derived Formsmarrowy, adjective

Word Origin

Old English mærg; related to Old Frisian merg, Old Norse mergr


  1. Northeast English dialect, mainly Durham a companion, esp a workmate

Word Origin

C15 marwe fellow worker, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic margr friendly
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

Word Origin and History for marrow


late 14c., from Old English mearg "marrow," earlier mærh, from Proto-Germanic *mazga- (cf. Old Norse mergr, Old Saxon marg, Old Frisian merg, Middle Dutch march, Dutch merg, Old High German marg, German Mark "marrow"), from PIE *mozgo- "marrow" (cf. Sanskrit majjan-, Avestan mazga- "marrow," Old Church Slavonic mozgu, Lithuanian smagenes "brain"). Figurative sense of "inmost or central part" is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

marrow in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Bone marrow.
  2. The spinal cord.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

marrow in Science


  1. See bone marrow.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

marrow in Culture


The soft, specialized connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones. One kind of bone marrow is responsible for manufacturing red blood cells in the body.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.