[mahr-tn-geyl] /ˈmɑr tnˌgeɪl/

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.
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
(nautical) Also called martingale boom


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.


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