[ 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.


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Definition for mars (2 of 3)

[ mahr ]
/ mɑr /

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


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.


un·marred, adjectiveun·mar·ring, adjective

Definition for mars (3 of 3)

[ mahrs ]
/ mɑrs /

noun Southern U.S.

(used chiefly in representation of southern black speech) master.
Also mars, massa.

Origin of marse

First recorded in 1870–75 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for mars

British Dictionary definitions for mars (1 of 4)

/ (mɑːz) /


the Roman god of war, the father of Romulus and RemusGreek counterpart: Ares

British Dictionary definitions for mars (2 of 4)

/ (mɑːz) /


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

British Dictionary definitions for mars (3 of 4)

/ (mɑː) /

verb mars, marring or marred

(tr) to cause harm to; spoil or impair


a disfiguring mark; blemish

Derived forms of mar

marrer, noun

Word Origin for mar

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

British Dictionary definitions for mars (4 of 4)


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

Scientific definitions for mars

[ märz ]

The fourth planet from the Sun and the second 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for mars (1 of 2)


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

notes for Mars

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

notes for Mars

The month of March is named after Mars.

Cultural definitions for mars (2 of 2)


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.”)

notes for Mars

Smaller than the Earth, Mars has polar ice caps and a surface that includes red sands.

notes for Mars

The Viking space mission, which placed landers on the surface of Mars, did not discover any signs of life.

notes for Mars

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 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.