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marl1

[mahrl]
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noun
  1. Geology. a friable earthy deposit consisting of clay and calcium carbonate, used especially as a fertilizer for soils deficient in lime.
  2. Archaic. earth.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to fertilize with marl.
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Origin of marl1

1325–75; Middle English marle < Middle Dutch < Old French < Medieval Latin margila, diminutive of Latin marga, said to be < Gaulish
Related formsmar·la·cious [mahr-ley-shuh s] /mɑrˈleɪ ʃəs/, marl·y, adjective

marl2

[mahrl]
verb (used with object) Nautical.
  1. to wind (a rope) with marline, every turn being secured by a hitch.
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Origin of marl2

1400–50; late Middle English marlyn to ensnare; akin to Old English mārels cable. See moor2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

mudbrickearthlanddirtterrainshoresurfacecoastclaydustturfgravelsandpotterysliptilladobebolemarl

Examples from the Web for marl

Historical Examples

  • The Marl was darting about madly, seeking, seeking a thing like itself.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West

  • I believed the other Marl—no, the Pat—because I wanted to believe.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West

  • Was I the only Marl who metamorphosed into this state of rational entity?

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West

  • The Marl's whole existence was that of sickness—of loneliness, which is fear.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West

  • The other Marl perceived me, darted frantically toward me, then slowed.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum

    John Foster West


British Dictionary definitions for marl

marl1

noun
  1. a fine-grained sedimentary rock consisting of clay minerals, calcite or aragonite, and silt: used as a fertilizer
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verb
  1. (tr) to fertilize (land) with marl
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Derived Formsmarlacious (mɑːˈleɪʃəs) or marly, adjective

Word Origin

C14: via Old French, from Late Latin margila, diminutive of Latin marga

marl2

verb
  1. nautical to seize (a rope) with marline, using a hitch at each turn
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Word Origin

C15 marlyn to bind; related to Dutch marlen to tie, Old English mārels cable
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 marl

n.

"clayey soil used for fertilizer," late 14c., from Old French marle (Modern French marne), from Late Latin marglia, diminutive of Latin marga "marl," which is said by Pliny to be a Gaulish word, but modern Celtic cognates are considered to be borrowed from English or French. As a verb by late 14c. Medieval Latin margila is the source of Dutch mergel, German Mergel.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

marl in Science

marl

[märl]
  1. A crumbly mixture of clays, calcium and magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells that forms in both freshwater and marine environments.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.