Main definitions of mare in English

: mare1mare2mare3

mare1

noun

  • 1The female of a horse or other equine animal.

    • ‘Tragically, as that happens, thousands of mares, foals and stallions will die.’
    • ‘A breeding herd usually consists of a stallion with anything from one to five mares, and their foals.’
    • ‘With two stallions and 20 brood mares, the Ford's are expecting 16 foals this season.’
    • ‘The stallion, however should be kept in such a way to prevent him from seeing any of the mares or other horses except other stallions.’
    • ‘If the mares are not in foal to Kentucky stallions, it is difficult to get a really top price.’
    • ‘This is especially useful for skittish horses and pregnant mares.’
    • ‘Males mature more slowly; at three, they begin to pester mares in estrus and are driven out of their natal group.’
    • ‘She didn't want to go home to her stables and see all the beautiful mares and gelding and stallions and not see her mare.’
    • ‘The structure that was destroyed was a barn used for foaling mares and prepping yearlings.’
    • ‘The infection can be derived from contaminated bedding and it can be spread from stallions to mares during breeding.’
    • ‘They live in permanent small family groups made up of a stallion and one to several mares and their foals.’
    • ‘Then one day, he noticed that a mare, a stallion and a foal had crossed the fence into the park.’
    • ‘Inbreeding may account for the fact that far fewer than half of all breeding mares foal each year.’
    • ‘Other than predator defense by the male, the mare mostly raises the foal.’
    • ‘She saddled the mare, the just-awoken horse quickly catching onto Fiona's urgency.’
    • ‘It really doesn't matter whether you have a stallion or a mare or a gelding.’
    • ‘The three riders fought to contain their horses but the mare wasn't as much trouble as the two stallions were.’
    • ‘They bought a lot of very high-priced stallions and brood mares and so on from all around the world.’
    • ‘Eating infected fescue often causes extended pregnancies in mares, resulting in foaling problems.’
    • ‘Most adults live in social groups, either of stallions, of mares with their dependent foals, or in mixed sex groups.’
    1. 1.1British informal, derogatory A woman:
      ‘that crazy mare put three bullets in him’
      young woman, young lady, miss
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English mearh ‘horse’, mere ‘mare’, from a Germanic base with cognates in Celtic languages meaning ‘stallion’.

Pronunciation:

mare

/mɛː/

Main definitions of mare in English

: mare1mare2mare3

mare2

noun

British
informal
  • 1A very unpleasant or frustrating experience:

    ‘this week is going to be a bit of a mare but at least the end is in sight’
    • ‘I'm having a bit of a mare booking some train tickets.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago I had a complete mare getting out of a multi-storey car park in Watford.’
    • ‘Eventually got to bed in the small hours and woke up this morning with a mare of a hangover.’
    • ‘Another hot day - work's always a mare because the air conditioning's clapped out and that part of town stinks.’
    • ‘Planning a party is a total mare when you're a Hollywood It Girl.’
    • ‘Also trying to sort out online radio licences which is a bit of a mare but keeping me on my toes.’
    • ‘I've been responsible for their online activity, and the whole thing has been a bit of a mare in terms of tweaks and last minute changes and late night shenanigans.’
    • ‘Listen, mate, I'm, like, totally having a complete mare.’
    • ‘Coming back from Middlesbrough last night was an utter mare.’
    • ‘Last night was a bit of a mare though.’
    ordeal, horror, torment, trial
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (especially in sport) a very poor performance:
      ‘Eboue had an absolute mare down the right hand side’
      • ‘The young striker - once much-tipped in these parts - had an absolute mare before ending the game being stretchered off.’
      • ‘Having had a bit of a mare against Forest last week Leigertwood was lucky to be given the nod ahead of Derry in midfield.’
      • ‘Omar Bravo is having a bit of a mare today.’
      • ‘Darren Davies had the proverbial mare and finished last.’
      • ‘It was an honest acknowledgement that he has struggled to look at home in international football, including yesterday's performance when, by his own admission, he had 'a bit of a mare'.’

Origin

1990s: abbreviation of nightmare.

Pronunciation:

mare

/mɛː/

Main definitions of mare in English

: mare1mare2mare3

mare3

noun

Astronomy
  • A large, level basalt plain on the surface of the moon, appearing dark by contrast with highland areas:

    ‘the maria are largely confined to the near side of the moon’
    [in names] ‘Mare Imbrium’
    • ‘Sometimes the moon looks like a coin, its endless maria spreading their eagle wings across the landscape.’
    • ‘Both elements are far more common in the maria - the lunar ‘seas’ that represent the outflow of the magma onto the satellite's surface - than they are in the rocky, mountainous regions known as terrae.’
    • ‘Mercury also recorded a similar bombardment history as the Moon in the sense that the Moon had a period of very heavy bombardment at the end of which the maria formed - the basins - which then later filled up with lava.’
    • ‘Most of the Moon's iron-rich basalt maria occur on the near side as well, where they alternate with highlands having only moderate concentrations of iron.’
    • ‘He asserted that the highlands and maria are made up of different kinds of rock, and the Apollo samples seemed to confirm that.’
    • ‘We had some idea there were compositional variations, because we could see differences in brightness between the smooth maria and the highlands.’
    • ‘No one was surprised by that - the idea of lunar maria had been replaced by lava plains decades earlier.’
    • ‘It must have happened before the visible maria formed, because they are not covered or scoured by the materials ejected from the huge craters.’
    • ‘The largest of the lunar mare, Mare Imbrium sits in the Imbrium basin.’
    • ‘About 3.9 billion years ago, one of these formed the great Imbrium Basin, or Mare Imbrium, and its mountain ramparts.’
    • ‘All the Moon's multi-ringed impact basins are older than the Moon's second kind of crust, consisting of basalts that have flooded low-lying areas to form the lunar maria.’
    • ‘This means, Zuber says, that the northern lowlands are flatter than the lava floods of the lunar maria, flatter than the vast volcanic plains of Venus, flatter than deserts on Earth.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: special use of Latin mare sea; these areas were once thought to be seas.

Pronunciation:

mare

/mɛː/