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.

Nearby words

  1. martineau, james,
  2. martinelli,
  3. martinelli, giovanni,
  4. martinet,
  5. martinez,
  6. martini,
  7. martini, simone,
  8. martini-henry,
  9. martinican,
  10. martinique

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

Word Origin and History for martingale

martingale

n.

1580s, from Middle French martingale (16c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Provençal martegalo, fem. of martegal "inhabitant of Martigue," making the etymological sense "worn in the manner of the people of Martigue;" or perhaps from Spanish almartaga, word for a sort of halter or rein, from Arabic almartak, in which case it might have been influenced in form by the Provençal word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper