verb (used with object), marred, mar·ring.
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Origin of mar
synonym study for mar
OTHER WORDS FROM marun·marred, adjectiveun·mar·ring, adjective
Words nearby mar
Definition for mar (2 of 4)
Definition for mar (3 of 4)
Definition for mar (4 of 4)
What does mar mean?
To mar something is to damage, spoil, deface, disfigure, or scar it—either literally (such as by scratching or making a mark on an object) or figuratively (such as by spoiling a party by getting into an argument).
Mar is used somewhat more formally than many of its synonyms. Whether used literally or figuratively, it always refers to spoiling something by making it worse or less perfect than it was. Its figurative sense is more often used in writing (especially journalism) than in everyday speech. Mar can also be used as a noun, meaning a blemish, but this is less common.
Example: The senator’s campaign event was unfortunately marred by people who wanted to disrupt the event by interrupting her speech.
Where does mar come from?
Mar is an old word. The first records of its use come from before 900. It comes from the Old English word merran, meaning “to hinder” or “to waste.” That word is related to the Old Norse merja, “to bruise,” and the Gothic marzjan, “to offend.”
Mar most commonly refers to scratching, marking up, or otherwise defacing the outside or surface of something. Tabletops often get marred by knicks and scratches. Your car door has probably been marred by getting scratched with keys or dented by other car doors. People sometimes mar wood surfaces by scratching words into them. In most cases, the thing that’s been marred usually started as a smooth or unblemished surface that has been made imperfect with some kind of marking.
Mar is used figuratively to refer to an action that has ruined or disrupted something, especially an event, as in The debate was marred by constant personal attacks. It can be applied in many different situations, such as describing how a sports team’s season was marred by injuries, or how someone’s success has been marred by scandal. Because it’s a short word, you’ll often see it used in news headlines to refer to such a situation, as in Fundraiser marred by protests.
In all cases, mar is used to refer to a negative effect on something, often a permanent one.
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How is mar used in real life?
Mar is always used negatively to indicate that something has been defaced or spoiled in some way. It’s commonly used in news headlines.
Hated to mar the surface but a thermometer was the best way to check for doneness pic.twitter.com/3MpAR5IeFp
— Sparkyena! (@NeitherSparky) September 2, 2015
BREAKING: Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance at the British Kebab Awards marred by questions about Keir Starmer’s doners.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) March 6, 2020
PHOTOS: Painting Begins on Cinderella Castle Makeover at the Magic Kingdom: As you walk into the Magic Kingdom today, your views (and photos) of Cinderella Castle may be slightly marred by the sight of numerous high-reaches sprawled across its facade, as… https://t.co/UNJ7S0n3C9 pic.twitter.com/7GfbVvjlG6
— ThemePark News and Tickets (@park_tickets) March 9, 2020
Try using mar!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of mar?
Example sentences from the Web for mar
A steel bracelet on my wrists reads CPL BRIAN L. CHEVALIER - 14 MAR 2007 – DIYALA.
Pujol was offering a choice of tasting menus that evening: Mar (Surf) or Tierra (Turf).
Decor426 Mar 8, 2008 I am in the same position as both of you.
Sir Anthony, the third baronet, took after his great-grandfather and dreamed of sailing north to help the Earl of Mar in 1715.The Vanity Girl|Compton Mackenzie
Courtship is such a delightful occupation for the young, that it seems a pity to mar it by bringing in questions of health.Homo-culture|Martin Luther Holbrook
The journey was uneventful, no delays or accidents occurring to mar it.The White Crystals|Howard R. Garis
The Earl of Mar therefore appeared as the champion of the Cavaliers, and for the first time won their confidence and approbation.Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745.|Mrs. Thomson
It would be wicked, and bring upon her Heaven's just wrath, if she did aught to mar the peace of a happy family.