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[mahr-tn] /ˈmɑr tn/

noun, plural martens (especially collectively) marten.
any of several slender, chiefly arboreal carnivores of the genus Martes, of northern forests, having a long, glossy coat and bushy tail.
the fur of such an animal, generally a dark brown.
noun (pl) -tens, -ten
any of several agile arboreal musteline mammals of the genus Martes, of Europe, Asia, and North America, having bushy tails and golden brown to blackish fur See also pine marten
the highly valued fur of these animals, esp that of M. americana

mid-13c., “skin or fur of the marten,” from Old French martrine “marten fur,” noun use of fem. adjective martrin “of or pertaining to the marten,” from martre “marten,” from Frankish *martar or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *marthuz (cf. Old Saxon marthrin “of or pertaining to the marten,” Old Frisian merth, Middle Dutch maerter, Dutch marter, Old High German mardar, German Marder, Old English mearþ, Old Norse mörðr “marten”), probably from PIE *martu- “bride,” perhaps on some fancied resemblance, or else a Germanic euphemism for the real name of the animal, which might have been taboo.

In Middle English the animal itself typically was called marter, directly from Old French martre, but marten took over this sense in English c.1400.


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