Definition of marten in English:



  • A chiefly arboreal weasellike mammal found in Eurasia and North America, hunted for its fur in many northern countries.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As members of the marten family, giant otters are susceptible to both diseases.’
    • ‘Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.’
    • ‘The researchers say that nestlings in at least half of the nests they studied were eaten, mainly by martens and weasels.’
    • ‘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.’


Middle English (frequently in the plural, denoting the fur): from Old French (peau) martrine marten (fur) from martre, of West Germanic origin.