• synonyms


noun Metallurgy.
  1. a metastable microconstituent of any of various forms of carbon steel, produced by undercooling sufficiently below the normal transformation temperature, especially a hard, brittle product of the decomposition of austenite, produced in this way.
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Origin of martensite

1895–1900; named after Adolf Martens (died 1914), German metallurgist; see -ite1
Related formsmar·ten·sit·ic [mahr-tn-zit-ik] /ˌmɑr tnˈzɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for martensite

Historical Examples

  • Below the temperature of the point F the martensite becomes heterogeneous, and forms pearlite.

    The Phase Rule and Its Applications

    Alexander Findlay

British Dictionary definitions for martensite


  1. a constituent formed in steels by rapid quenching, consisting of a supersaturated solid solution of carbon in iron. It is formed by the breakdown of austenite when the rate of cooling is large enough to prevent pearlite forming
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Derived Formsmartensitic (ˌmɑːtɪnˈzɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C20: named after Adolf Martens (died 1914), German metallurgist
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