martingale

[ mahr-tn-geyl ]
/ ˈmɑr tnˌgeɪl /

noun

Also called standing martingale. part of the tack or harness of a horse, consisting of a strap that fastens to the girth, passes between the forelegs and through a loop in the neckstrap or hame, and fastens to the noseband: used to steady or hold down the horse's head.
Also called running martingale. a similar device that divides at the chest into two branches, each ending in a ring through which the reins pass.
Nautical. a stay for a jib boom or spike bowsprit.
a system of gambling in which the stakes are doubled or otherwise raised after each loss.

Origin of martingale

1580–90; < Middle French: kind of hose fastened at the back, allegedly < Provençal martegalo, feminine of martegal, inhabitant of Martigue, town in SE France, though sense apparently influenced by Spanish almártaga harness < Arabic al-martaʿah the vein
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for martingale

British Dictionary definitions for martingale

martingale
/ (ˈmɑːtɪnˌɡeɪl) /

noun

a strap from the reins to the girth of a horse preventing it from carrying its head too high
any gambling system in which the stakes are raised, usually doubled, after each loss
Also called: martingale boom nautical
  1. a chain or cable running from a jib boom to the dolphin striker, serving to counteract strain
  2. another term for dolphin striker

Word Origin for martingale

C16: from French, of uncertain origin
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