One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chiefly arboreal weasellike mammal found in Eurasia and North America, hunted for its fur in many northern countries.
Genus Martes, family Mustelidae: several species. See pine marten, stone marten
- ‘The researchers say that nestlings in at least half of the nests they studied were eaten, mainly by martens and weasels.’
- ‘A cousin of mink, martens, otters, stoats, weasels and distantly related to seals, badgers are one of our oldest indigenous animals, whose fossil remains have been found to belong to the same era as mammoths.’
- ‘Abert's and northern flying squirrels, as well as martens and bushy-tailed wood rats, are known to utilize witches'-brooms for nesting or protection.’
- ‘Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.’
- ‘As members of the marten family, giant otters are susceptible to both diseases.’
Middle English: from Old French (peau) martrine ‘marten (fur)’, from martre, of West Germanic origin.
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