One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unconsolidated sedimentary rock or soil consisting of clay and lime, formerly used as fertilizer.‘the ancient right to dig marl for fertilizer’count noun ‘the road cuttings show red and green marls’
earth, loam, sod, ground, dirt, clay, turf, topsoil, mould, humus, dustView synonyms
- ‘Basement rocks consist of Tortonian volcanic rocks unconformably overlain by Messinian (uppermost Miocene) marine marls, coral-reef limestones and carbonate breccias.’
- ‘The sediments include lacustrine freshwater limestones, silts, marls, occasional sands and local lignite.’
- ‘The Posidonia Shales are represented by a succession of marls and bituminous clays with a few interbedded carbonate-rich levels, possibly diagenetic in origin.’
- ‘Taken together, the lithology of the sediments generally ranges from marls and sandstones at the bottom of the sections to coarse conglomerates whose matrix and clast size increase upwards.’
- ‘The covering of the basin floor during periods of enhanced moisture conditions allows the deposition of lacustrine sediments such as marls and clays.’
Apply marl to.‘small fields were being assiduously marled to produce corn crops’
- ‘The new owner also noticed the superior fertility of the marled field, and he shared the good news about marl with his neighbors, who then began spreading it on their fields.’
- ‘For example, from 1710 to 1715 John Carr of Massingham ‘marled by agreement 240 acres, and was allowed 8s. an acre in return…’.’
- ‘The luxuriant growth of wheat on the marled field showed an even more striking difference.’
- ‘Therefore, 67 acres of the marled field only will be put under corn; and the remaining 33 acres ploughed lor pea-fallow, and the peas sown late in May or early in June.’
- ‘The tenant, moreover, formerly said that he had marled the field thirty years before, but was now positive that this was done in 1809, that is twenty-eight years before the first examination of the field by my friend.’
Middle English: from Old French marle, from medieval Latin margila, from Latin marga, of Celtic origin.
mass noun, usually as modifier A mottled yarn of differently coloured threads, or fabric made from this yarn.‘blue marl leggings’
- ‘Josh pulled the collar of his grey marl coat up to shield his neck from the onslaught of bitter winds.’
- ‘For the most sumptuous layering for relaxing at home, wear slouchy drawstring trousers, cami and an oversized wrap-around cardigan in grey marl cashmere mix.’
- ‘Amy has rolled up the legs of the grey marl trousers to make them shorter, while the Teflon hooded top doesn't even cover her midriff.’
- ‘This traditional look will last many seasons in the great marl wool.’
- ‘That grey marl hoodie, £25, is a man's item.’
Late 19th century: shortening of marbled.
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