verb (used with object), marred, mar·ring.

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 formsun·marred, adjectiveun·mar·ring, adjective

Synonyms for mar

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.

Antonyms for mar

1, 2. enhance, adorn. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for marred

Contemporary Examples of marred

Historical Examples of marred

  • With that cry he escaped from the marred conditions of the clay.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • The friar's spirits were not to be marred by such a little incident.

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • It was not marred by such evidences of the old fact as still remained.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • The honesty of the conviction is not marred by the fact that it is entirely mistaken.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • After all, he remembered, it was the people who made or marred a place.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for marred


verb mars, marring or marred

(tr) to cause harm to; spoil or impair


a disfiguring mark; blemish
Derived Formsmarrer, noun

Word Origin for mar

Old English merran; compare Old Saxon merrian to hinder, Old Norse merja to bruise


abbreviation for

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 marred



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