Definition of marl in English:



  • An unconsolidated sedimentary rock or soil consisting of clay and lime, formerly used typically as fertilizer.

    • ‘The covering of the basin floor during periods of enhanced moisture conditions allows the deposition of lacustrine sediments such as marls and clays.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    earth, loam, sod, ground, dirt, clay, turf, topsoil, mould, humus, marl, dust
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  • Apply marl to.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The luxuriant growth of wheat on the marled field showed an even more striking difference.’
    • ‘For example, from 1710 to 1715 John Carr of Massingham ‘marled by agreement 240 acres, and was allowed 8s. an acre in return…’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Middle English: from Old French marle, from medieval Latin margila, from Latin marga, of Celtic origin.