inclined or disposed to war; warlike: The ancient Romans were a martial people.
of, suitable for, or associated with war or the armed forces: martial music.
characteristic of or befitting a warrior: a martial stride.

Origin of martial

1325–75; Middle English < Latin Mārtiālis of, belonging to Mars, equivalent to Mārti- (stem of Mārs) + -ālis -al1
Related formsmar·tial·ism, nounmar·tial·ist, nounmar·tial·ly, adverbmar·tial·ness, nounnon·mar·tial, adjectivenon·mar·tial·ly, adverbnon·mar·tial·ness, nounun·mar·tial, adjective
Can be confusedmarshal marital martial

Synonyms for martial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for martially

Historical Examples of martially

  • But it was the heart of the house beating, faintly at first, then loudly, martially.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • The finale begins gloomily and martially, and it is succeeded by a period of beauty and grace.

  • To return to 1762: the people of the Colonies were as martially disposed as are the people of the States in these days.

  • And therewith Duncan Galbraith martially cocked his hat, and placed it on one side of his head with an air of defiance.

  • He gave a glance of frank admiration at the slight, erect figure sitting her horse so martially.

    Joan of Arc

    Lucy Foster Madison

British Dictionary definitions for martially



of, relating to, or characteristic of war, soldiers, or the military life
Derived Formsmartialism, nounmartialist, nounmartially, adverbmartialness, noun

Word Origin for martial

C14: from Latin martiālis of Mars 1




of or relating to Mars




full name Marcus Valerius Martialis. ?40–?104 ad, Latin epigrammatist and poet, born in Spain
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 martially



late 14c., "warlike," from Latin martialis "of Mars or war," from Mars (genitive Martis), Roman god of war; see Mars. Related: Martially. Martial law, "military rule over civilians," first recorded 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper