Main definitions of marrow in English

: marrow1marrow2

marrow1

noun

  • 1British A long white-fleshed gourd with green skin, which is eaten as a vegetable.

    • ‘This is a land of festivals, more than any other, whether it means tossing cabers, weighing marrows or staging opera in country houses.’
    • ‘A thousand plastic ducks and 50 giant marrows were on show as almost £3,000 was raised for charity.’
    • ‘Courgettes are actually baby marrows, just picked earlier from the plant.’
    • ‘Horticultural societies and shows, which began 200 years ago, still display prize marrows, giant leeks and perfect chrysanthemums.’
    • ‘Behind him, seven-year-old Jordan stood in awe with his grandmother, admiring the enormous marrows.’
    • ‘Ronde de Nice squash, hard-skinned and as smooth as a cricket ball will bake well with a dab of garlic butter, and yet the young marrows would be just as good.’
    • ‘Unripe fruits are cooked as a vegetable in the same way as marrows.’
    • ‘The British will bet on virtually anything from the size of marrows, through slug racing, to how long it takes to run round the quadrangle of an Oxford College.’
    • ‘Two hours later and I was still tousle-haired and wearing an apron over my pajamas, but the pot was bubbling away on the stove and I was clearing up tomato skins and marrow seeds from the worktop.’
    • ‘So, whether you call it a striped gourd, a marrow, or a zucchini, you might notice that they are quite plentiful at this time of the year.’
    • ‘Pragmatics perhaps explains cucurbita pepo's lack of popularity: if one assumes they are always merely marrows, who would want to eat them?’
    • ‘The annual Giant Vegetable Competition is approaching, and the folk who grow carrots and pumpkins and marrows in their back yards are fearful of the voracious rabbits that threaten their produce.’
    • ‘We grow all manner of vegetables from cabbages and carrots to marrows.’
    • ‘The book devotes 30 pages to cucurbits, from giant pumpkins through marrows, zucchinis and cucumbers to back - scratching loofahs.’
    • ‘Other specialist bags have been developed especially for salads and vegetables including even marrows and courgettes.’
    • ‘Glaze the baby marrows and peeled carrots in a pan with honey.’
    • ‘Lots of vegetables should be ready to harvest now including marrows, onions and sweetcorn.’
    • ‘In addition to cereals the Greeks used figs, grapes, pomegranates, spinach, marrows, celery, nettles, hyacinth bulbs, artichokes, asparagus and honey.’
    • ‘I didn't really eat the marrow because I was so full.’
    • ‘I spotted the first of the really big marrows, and even a small pumpkin the other day.’
  • 2The plant of the gourd family which produces marrows.

    • ‘I wouldn't mind if they had a little nibble now and then, but no, they've got to have the whole thing. 2 pumpkin plants, 3 lettuce seedlings and damage to my marrow plant.’
  • 3mass noun A soft fatty substance in the cavities of bones, in which blood cells are produced.

    as modifier ‘marrow donors’
    ‘a bone marrow transplant’
    • ‘Autologous transplants are stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow or peripheral blood.’
    • ‘Overall it is very well tolerated, with a low incidence of bone marrow suppression.’
    • ‘In general, magnetic resonance is excellent for imaging soft tissue and bone marrow.’
    • ‘If you require a bone marrow transplant a compatible donor will need to be found.’
    • ‘Stem cells have been isolated from the central nervous system, bone marrow, and blood of adults.’
    • ‘The bone marrow cells will be collected using a needle and syringe, with no cutting or stitching involved.’
    • ‘During a transplant, healthy bone marrow will be fed into your blood stream.’
    • ‘In other areas, such as blood and bone marrow donation, living donors are the norm.’
    • ‘The bone marrow helps regulate the number of white blood cells in the body.’
    • ‘His topic was the regeneration of damaged heart muscle, by use of bone marrow stem cells.’
    • ‘Stem cells are cells taken from bone marrow which have the ability to grow into several different types of tissue.’
    • ‘White blood cells are produced by the bone marrow, the soft spongy centre of bones.’
    • ‘Definitive treatment of the disorder relies on reconstituting the patient's bone marrow.’
    • ‘He donated bone marrow at a hospital in London before it was transported to America.’
    • ‘Autologous bone marrow transplantation was being viewed in a different light.’
    • ‘It is usually found in the lymph nodes but can also spread to involve other organs such as the spleen and bone marrow.’
    • ‘A bag containing the retrovirus was connected to a bag of his bone marrow.’
    • ‘His sister was found to be the one-in-a-million bone marrow match he needed.’
    • ‘For this reason, close relatives are often the donors of choice in bone marrow transplantation.’
    • ‘In some cases you may be able to exchange cards or letters with the person who received your donated bone marrow.’
  • 4The essential part of something.

    ‘such men were the marrow of the organization’
    • ‘Also, my account cannot be complete, but it will contain most of the essential marrow of our many conversations.’
    • ‘The night provides the vital marrow for all things creative.’
    • ‘I'll attempt to cull his posts down to the essential marrow and bring it to the attention of my own limited readership.’
    • ‘I knew a profound new question challenged me: Is love the essential marrow of our humanness?’
    • ‘He wisely sifted out four steps which he discerned to be those which contained the essential marrow, and which were of the highest value in actual practice.’
    essence, core, nucleus, pith, kernel, heart, centre, soul, spirit, quintessence, gist, substance, sum and substance, meat, nub, stuff
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • to the marrow

    • To one's innermost being.

      ‘a sight which chilled me to the marrow’
      • ‘He turned, chilled to the marrow, which was, evidently, a nastily foreign feeling.’
      • ‘So naturally I accepted, thrilled to the marrow.’
      • ‘A professional to the marrow of his bones, he has left his mark on the cultural and artistic life of the country.’
      • ‘And then he was bursting through the main door, the chill late-afternoon wind throwing snowflakes against his sweat-streaked face and chilling him to the marrow.’
      • ‘It sent a shiver down Nathaniel's spine and chilled his bones to the marrow.’
      • ‘Nearby a survivor screamed, chilling them all to the marrow.’
      • ‘Neither will you be chilled to the marrow by the icy blasts of winter, for it scarcely ever freezes.’
      • ‘In the balmy hours of the night, I had almost forgotten what cold felt like. How it bores down to the marrow.’
      • ‘Finally, when the two workers, frozen to the marrow, emerged from beneath the water, they were stunned to hear the student spectators burst into side-splitting laughter.’
      • ‘And when you returned, wide-eyed with fright and chilled to the marrow, you were secretly amazed at your own survival.’

Origin

Old English mearg, mærg (in marrow (sense 3 of the noun)), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch merg and German Mark. marrow (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation

marrow

/ˈmarəʊ/

Main definitions of marrow in English

: marrow1marrow2

marrow2

(also marra, marrer)

noun

Northern English, Scottish
  • 1A friend, companion, or workmate (often used as a form of address)

    ‘come here, marrer, we need to talk’
    • ‘'Deputy seems to have the wind up,' said Jack. 'They all have,' said his marrow. 'Can't make it out why they're shoving the timber in.'’
    • ‘It is this sense of loyalty and brotherhood, found amongst miners the country over, that led to the tragic deaths of two brave men who would not give up their ‘marrer’ for lost.’
    • ‘Our own battalion was predominantly Cumbrian, and the men from the west coast called each other 'marrow', pronounced marra.’
    • ‘Instead of saying friend or pal they would refer to their marra.’
    • ‘My favorite Red Lion patrons were Avery and her marra, Avery, a couple with the only similarity, besides the same name of course, being that they both went to the same school without ever knowing each other.’
    • ‘There is a widespread superstition amongst Durham miners that they are always forewarned of disasters, often by their old "marras" who have been killed in the pit.’
    • ‘Katrine is a leddy born - there's nae aulder or prouder stock in the land - and ye're the oy o' the miller o' the Rood-foot, and ye seek to make her your marrow.’
    • ‘He came to the face of operations. 'How's things here, marrow?' he asked.’
    • ‘He and his marrer were hewing when a large stone fell from the roof and injured Roberts' back, he died an hour after being taken home.’
    • ‘While in the army most Geordies I met called their best friends their marrer.’
    companion, boon companion, bosom friend, best friend, close friend, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, soul mate, alter ego, second self, shadow, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, ally, comrade, associate
    View synonyms
  • 2Something that forms a pair with something else; a counterpart or twin.

    • ‘Mind you, he was a smart man, my father. None his marrow when it came to making an old mare look as young and lifey as a two-year-old, tarring its grey hairs.’
    • ‘He is the very marrow of John Strathbourne as he was when we fought side by side.’

Origin

Late Middle English: probably from Old Norse margr ‘many’, also ‘friendly, communicative’.

Pronunciation

marrow

/ˈmarə/