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[mahrz] /mɑrz/
the ancient Roman god of war and agriculture, identified with the Greek god Ares.
Astronomy. the planet fourth in order from the sun, having a diameter of 4222 miles (6794 km), a mean distance from the sun of 141.6 million miles (227.9 million km), a period of revolution of 686.95 days, and two moons.
(often lowercase) of or relating to any of various pigments used in painting that are artificially made from an iron oxide base:
Mars color; Mars pigments.


[mahr] /mɑr/
verb (used with object), marred, marring.
to damage or spoil to a certain extent; render less perfect, attractive, useful, etc.; impair or spoil:
That billboard mars the view. The holiday was marred by bad weather.
to disfigure, deface, or scar:
The scratch marred the table.
Origin of mar
before 900; Middle English merren, Old English merran to hinder, waste; cognate with Old Saxon merrian, Old High German merren to hinder, Old Norse merja to bruise, Gothic marzjan to offend
Related forms
unmarred, adjective
unmarring, adjective
1, 2. flaw, injure; blot. Mar, deface, disfigure, deform agree in applying to some form of injury. Mar is general, but usually refers to an external or surface injury, if it is a physical one: The tabletop was marred by dents and scratches. Deface refers to a surface injury that may be temporary or easily repaired: a tablecloth defaced by penciled notations. Disfigure applies to external injury of a more permanent and serious kind: A birthmark disfigured one side of his face. Deform suggests that something has been distorted or internally injured so severely as to change its normal form or qualities, or else that some fault has interfered with its proper development: deformed by an accident that had crippled him; to deform feet by binding them.
1, 2. enhance, adorn.


[mahrs] /mɑrs/
noun, Southern U.S.
(used chiefly in representation of southern black speech) master.
Also, mars, massa.
1870-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Mars
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mars was old and worn-out and barren, dreaming itself into slow death.

    Duel on Syrtis Poul William Anderson
  • It is a degradation which Mars your young life and embitters the memories of age.

    Mizora: A Prophecy Mary E. Bradley
  • Published by A. Vandal in the "Revue bleue," Mars—avril, 1895.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Again was Mars Plaisir silenced, and his countenance confused.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • Telegraph to me there to my club, the Mars and Neptune, Piccadilly.

    The Passenger from Calais Arthur Griffiths
British Dictionary definitions for Mars


the Roman god of war, the father of Romulus and Remus Greek counterpart Ares


Also called the Red Planet. the fourth planet from the sun, having a reddish-orange surface with numerous dark patches and two white polar caps. It has a thin atmosphere, mainly carbon dioxide, and low surface temperatures. Spacecraft encounters have revealed a history of volcanic activity and running surface water. The planet has two tiny satellites, Phobos and Deimos. Mean distance from sun: 228 million km; period of revolution around sun: 686.98 days; period of axial rotation: 24.6225 hours; diameter and mass: 53.2 and 10.7 per cent that of earth respectively
the alchemical name for iron


verb mars, marring, marred
(transitive) to cause harm to; spoil or impair
a disfiguring mark; blemish
Derived Forms
marrer, noun
Word Origin
Old English merran; compare Old Saxon merrian to hinder, Old Norse merja to bruise


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 Mars

Roman god of war, also the name of the bright red planet, late 14c., from Latin Mars (stem *Mawort-), the Roman god of war, of unknown origin, apparently from earlier Mavors, related to Oscan Mamers. According to Watkins the Latin word is from *Mawort- "name of an Italic deity who became the god of war at Rome ...." He also had agricultural attributes, and might ultimately have been a Spring-Dionysus. The planet was so named by the Romans, no doubt for its blood-like color. The Greeks also called the planet Pyroeis "the fiery."



Old English merran (Anglian), mierran (West Saxon) "to waste, spoil," from Proto-Germanic *marzjan (cf. Old Frisian meria, Old High German marren "to hinder, obstruct," Gothic marzjan "to hinder, offend"), from PIE root *mers- "to trouble, confuse" (cf. Sanskrit mrsyate "forgets, neglects," Lithuanian mirszati "to forget"). Related: Marred; marring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Mars in Science
The fourth planet from the Sun and the third smallest in the solar system, with a diameter about half that of Earth. Mars is the last of the terrestrial or inner planets and has notable similarities to Earth, including polar ice caps and a tilted axis that gives it seasons. However, it is significantly less dense than Earth and has no magnetic field, suggesting that it lacks a metallic core, and its atmosphere, made up mostly of carbon dioxide, is much thinner than Earth's. Mars has no surface water apart from a layer of permanent ice that underlies the seasonally changing caps of frozen carbon dioxide at its poles; there is, however, clear evidence of earlier water flows in the form of channels, outwashes, and canyons. Other surface features include numerous craters, especially in the southern hemisphere, along with very large volcanoes and extensive windblown dunes. Mar's reddish color is due to the abundance of hematite in its surface rocks. Its two small, irregular moons, Phobos and Deimos, may be asteroids captured earlier by gravitational attraction. See Table at solar system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Mars in Culture

Mars definition

The Roman name of Ares, the Greek and Roman god of war.

Note: The fourth planet from the sun (the Earth is third) is named Mars, possibly because its red color is reminiscent of blood.
Note: The month of March is named after Mars.

Mars definition

In astronomy, the fourth major planet from the sun. Mars was named after the Roman god of war because of its red color. (See solar system; See under “Mythology and Folklore.”)

Note: Smaller than the Earth, Mars has polar ice caps and a surface that includes red sands.
Note: The Viking space mission, which placed landers on the surface of Mars, did not discover any signs of life.
Note: Mars has been, and remains, the focus of space research by NASA. Voyages to Mars, including multiple landings, are scheduled through the first decade of the twenty-first century.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Mars in Technology

A legendary tragic failure, the archetypal Hacker Dream Gone Wrong. Mars was the code name for a family of PDP-10 compatible computers built by Systems Concepts (now, The SC Group): the multi-processor SC-30M, the small uniprocessor SC-25M, and the never-built superprocessor SC-40M. These machines were marvels of engineering design; although not much slower than the unique Foonly F-1, they were physically smaller and consumed less power than the much slower DEC KS10 or Foonly F-2, F-3, or F-4 machines. They were also completely compatible with the DEC KL10, and ran all KL10 binaries (including the operating system) with no modifications at about 2--3 times faster than a KL10.
When DEC cancelled the Jupiter project in 1983, Systems Concepts should have made a bundle selling their machine into shops with a lot of software investment in PDP-10s, and in fact their spring 1984 announcement generated a great deal of excitement in the PDP-10 world. TOPS-10 was running on the Mars by the summer of 1984, and TOPS-20 by early fall.
Unfortunately, the hackers running Systems Concepts were much better at designing machines than at mass producing or selling them; the company allowed itself to be sidetracked by a bout of perfectionism into continually improving the design, and lost credibility as delivery dates continued to slip. They also overpriced the product ridiculously; they believed they were competing with the KL10 and VAX 8600 and failed to reckon with the likes of Sun Microsystems and other hungry startups building workstations with power comparable to the KL10 at a fraction of the price.
By the time SC shipped the first SC-30M to Stanford in late 1985, most customers had already made the traumatic decision to abandon the PDP-10, usually for VMS or Unix boxes. Most of the Mars computers built ended up being purchased by CompuServe.
This tale and the related saga of Foonly hold a lesson for hackers: if you want to play in the Real World, you need to learn Real World moves.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for Mars


multicast address resolution server


major acquisition review
Mid-Atlantic Ridge
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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