From Middle English martial, marcial, mercial, mercialle (“relating to war, warlike; military; for use in fighting or warfare; brave, hardy; combative, fierce; ruthless, vicious; domineering, overbearing”), from Middle French martial (modern French martial (“martial”)), or directly from its etymon Latin mārtiālis (“of or pertaining to Mars, the Roman god of war”), from Mārtius (“of or pertaining to Mars”) + -ālis (suffix forming adjectives of relationship). The English word is cognate with Italian marziale (“martial”), Portuguese marcial (“martial”), Spanish marcial (“martial”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɑːʃəl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɑɹʃəl/
- Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)ʃəl
- Homophones: marshal, Martial
- Hyphenation: mart‧ial
- (comparable) Of, relating to, or suggestive of war; warlike.
- 1576, George Whetstone, “The Ortchard of Repentance: […]”, in The Rocke of Regard, […], London: […] [H. Middleton] for Robert Waley, OCLC 837515946; republished in J[ohn] P[ayne] Collier, editor, The Rocke of Regard, […] (Illustrations of Early English Poetry; vol. 2, no. 2), London: Privately printed, [1867?], OCLC 706027473, page 216:
- The captaine he, which climbes for high advaunce, / By piercing blade imbrude in enimies blood, / In martiall ſhewes who formoſt leades the daunce, [...]
- 1580, Rutilius Rufus [pseudonym; Thomas Newton], “[The Epistle Dedicatorie]”, in A View of Valyaunce. Describing the Famous Feates, and Martiall Exploites of Two Most Mightie Nations, the Romains and the Carthaginians, for the Conquest and Possession of Spayne. […], imprinted at London: By Thomas East, OCLC 1048958105:
- Sir, if I were to yeeld a reaſon of my preſent preſumption for thus boldly offering vnto your worſhipful view this little hyſtoricall Abridgemẽt of Martiall exploits, by ſundrye moſt famous warriours and renowmed Capitaines long ſince atchieued: [...]
- 1763, [Oliver Goldsmith], The Martial Review; or, A General History of the Late Wars; […], London: Printed for J[ohn] Newbery, […], OCLC 723180779, page 170:
- They [the Dutch] were, however, repelled by the valour of the Engliſh, and the matter is now under a civil deliberation, which makes it improper for a Martial Review.
- (comparable) Connected with or relating to armed forces or the profession of arms or military life.
- 1628 June 7, The Petition of Right; republished in Francis Lieber, “Appendix V. The Petition of Right.”, in On Civil Liberty and Self-government, enlarged edition, Philadelphia, Pa.: J. B. Lippincott and Co.; London: Trübner and Co., 1859, OCLC 656765502, page 486:
- [D]ivers commissions under your Majestie's Greate Seale have issued forth, by which certaine persons have been assigned and appointed commissioners, with power and authoritie to proceed within the land, according to the justice of martiall lawe, against such soulders and marriners, or other dissolute persons joining with them, as should commit any murder, robbery, felonie, meeting, or other outrage or misdemeanour, whatsoever; [...]
- 1938, Xavier Herbert, “Dawn of a New Era”, in Capricornia, Sydney, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson, OCLC 220342066; republished New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton-Century, 1943, OCLC 462159385, page 194:
- He was lying on the table with head pillowed on the broken concertina and body sheltered with the Federal Flag, looking like a martial corpse. He did not wake properly till Blossom dragged him to the tap outside and turned the water on him.
- (comparable) Characteristic of or befitting a warrior; having a military bearing; soldierly.
- 1701 January (indicated as 1700), [Daniel Defoe], “Part II”, in The True-Born Englishman. A Satyr, [London: s.n.], OCLC 606597370, page 58:
- His Martial Valour Flanders will confeſs; / And France Regrets his Managing the Peace. / Faithful to England’s Intereſt and her King: / The greateſt Reaſon of our Murmuring.
- 1774 March, Thomas Mytton, “David’s Lamentation for the Deaths of Saul and Jonathan, 2 Samuel c. 1”, in Sylvanus Urban [pseudonym; Edward Cave], editor, The Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, volume XLIV, London: Printed […], for D[avid] Henry, and sold by F[rancis] Newbery, […], OCLC 192374019, page 136, column 1:
- Ah!—each the pride of Iſrael's martial train, / Now breathleſs, on their native mountains ſlain!
- , T[homas] May, “The Retreat of Æneas from the Burning City of Troy; or, A Noble Example of Filial, Paternal, and Conjugal Affection. Translated from the Second Book of Virgil’s Æneis.”, in Poems Descriptive and Moral; […], Henley, [Oxfordshire?]: Printed by and for the author; and sold by C. Dilly, […], OCLC 563704279, page 98:
- Thus near the bard were ſeen / Matrons and men, join'd with the breathleſs ſhades / Of martial heroes and unbearded boys, / And virgins chaſte, or youths beore the eyes / Of their ſad parents, on the pile conſum'd; [...]
- 2015, Noel Plaugher, “Martial Postures”, in Standing Qigong for Health and Martial Arts: Zhan Zhuang, London; Philadelphia, Pa.: Singing Dragon, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, →ISBN, page 91:
- Martial arts were developed for fighting, but studying them doesn't make the practitioner a hostile individual. In fact, most practitioners are incredibly peaceful.
- (not comparable, astrology, obsolete) Pertaining to the astrological influence of the planet Mars.
- 1682, Joseph Blagrave, “[The Effects of Directions.] The Sun Directed unto Promittors.”, in Obadiah Blagrave, editor, Blagrave’s Introduction to Astrology. In Three Parts. […], London: Printed by E. Tyler, and R. Holt, for Obadiah Blagrave, […], OCLC 228724142, part III, page 251:
- The Sun to the Quartile or Oppoſition of Mars. This Direction threatens the native with ſome martial Diſeaſe or Infirmity, as Fevers peſtilential, exceſs of Choler and Blood corrupted; it ſheweth danger by Fires, Wounds and Scalds, ill ſucceſs in Affairs, danger by Thieves and Robbers, ill having to do with martial Men, or to deal in martial Affairs; [...]
- 1852, William Lilly; Zadkiel [pseudonym; Richard James Morrison], “Another Brief Description of the Shapes and Forms of the Planets”, in An Introduction to Astrology […]: A Grammar of Astrology, and Tables for Calculating Nativities. […], London: H[enry] G[eorge] Bohn, […], OCLC 1077929409, page 55:
- A martial man is many times full-faced, with a lively, high colour, like sun-burnt, or like raw tanned leather; a fierce countenance, his eyes being sparkling or sharp and darting, and of yellow colour; his hair, both of head and beard, being reddish (but herein you must vary according to the sign).
- 1875, J. A., “ASTROLOGY”, in The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, volume II, 9th edition, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, OCLC 181809840, page 741, column 2:
- Venus was placed below Mars; that is, the sensual passion was subjected to martial ardour.
- (not comparable, astronomy, obsolete) Of or relating to the planet Mars; Martian.
- [1611?], Homer, “Book IV”, in Geo[rge] Chapman, transl., The Iliads of Homer Prince of Poets. […], London: […] Nathaniell Butter, OCLC 614803194; The Iliads of Homer, Prince of Poets, […], volume I, new edition, London: Charles Knight and Co., […], 1843, OCLC 987451361, page 117:
- [R]ound about the plain / All hid with slaughter'd carcasses, yet still did hotly reign / The martial planet; [...]
- 1869 February 6, “The Planet of War”, in E[neas] S[weetland] Dallas, editor, Once a Week, volume III, number 58 (New Series), London: Bradbury, Evans, and Co. […], OCLC 1696839, page 74, column 1:
- For, having found out by a careful series of observations, the parts of Mars' orbit where the planet entered upon its various seasons, he [William Herschel] noted that, soon after mid-winter of the northern hemisphere, the northern white spot attained its greatest dimensions, while the southern was reduced to a tiny oval of light; whereas half a Martial year later, the southern spot was at its largest, and the northern a mere speck when compared with its winter appearance.
- 1874 September, N[athaniel] S[outhgate] Shaler, “The Moon”, in The Atlantic Monthly: A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics, volume XXXIV, number CCIII, Boston, Mass.: H[enry] O[scar] Houghton and Company; New York, N.Y.: Hurd and Houghton […], OCLC 624525874, page 277:
- No naturalist can watch winter and summer come and go on the opposite hemispheres of the martial planet, without feeling that life must have come into being where all the machinery of life is in such perfect working.
- (not comparable, chemistry, medicine, obsolete) Containing, or relating to, iron (which was symbolically associated with the planet Mars by alchemists); chalybeate, ferric, ferrous.
- martial preparations martial flowers (a reddish crystalline salt of iron)
- 1790, Thomas Garnett, “Experiment XI”, in Experiments and Observations on the Horley-Green Spaw, near Halifax. […], Bradford, Yorkshire: Printed for the author, by George Nicholson; and sold by T. Knott, […], OCLC 931106377, page 28:
- This dephlogisticated martial vitriol, as M. [Torbern] Bergman calls it, is often found in nature, particularly in the ores of alum.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
martial (plural martials)
- (obsolete) A soldier, a warrior.
- c. 1850, Eugène Sue, “The Conversation”, in Charles Rochford, transl., The Mysteries of Paris, Translated from the French, London: Charles Daly, […], OCLC 859174852, part II, page 213:
- The martials (this is the name of my pirates) will pass in her eyes for an honest family of fishermen; I will go on your account, and make two or three visits to your young lady; I will order her certain potions, and at the end of eight days she will make acquaintance with the cemetery of Asnieres.
- (astrology, obsolete) A celestial object under the astrological influence of the planet Mars.
- (chiefly science fiction, obsolete) Synonym of
- 1892, The Spectator: A Weekly Review of Politics, Literature, Theology, and Art, volume LXIX, London: F. C. Westley, ISSN 0038-6952, OCLC 219844110, page 218, column 2:
- The Martials, if there be Martials in any sense in which there are terrestrials on our own planet, may have no eyes at all; their whole civilisation, if they have say, may depend on senses of which we have absolutely no trace, [...]
- (synonym of Martian): Martial
- Bartoli, Matteo Giulio (1906) Il Dalmatico: Resti di un’antica lingua romanza parlata da Veglia a Ragusa e sua collocazione nella Romània appenino-balcanica, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, published 2000