Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Christian feast observed in commemoration of the death and burial of Saint Martin of Tours.
  • n. November 11, the day on which this feast is observed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. St Martin's day, 11th November. A Scottish quarter day.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The feast of St. Martin, the eleventh of November; -- often called martlemans.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A church festival formerly kept on November 11th, in honor of St. Martin, the patron saint of France.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the feast of Saint Martin; a quarter day in Scotland

Etymologies

Middle English martinmesse : Martin, Saint Martin of Tours + messe, masse, Mass; see Mass.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Martin +‎ -mas (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In A Continual Feast, author Evelyn Berge Vitz tells us that his feast, called Martinmas, became a major one in Europe, largely no doubt because it took on the character of an in-gathering festival: a thanksgiving celebration.

    Goose with Apple Stuffing for Martinmas

  • On November 11th we celebrate the feast of St. Martin of Tours, also known as Martinmas!

    Goose with Apple Stuffing for Martinmas

  • The new wine is usually ready to drink on Martinmas, which is also the traditional day for slaughtering livestock for the winter, so it is a kind of harvest festival and a late fall Mardi Gras all rolled into one.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • Charles the Second it was not till the beginning of November that families laid in their stock of salt provisions, then called Martinmas beef.

    The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 1

  • For far longer, however, it has been St Martin's Day (sometimes known as Martinmas or Martinstag).

    Latest News from Ekklesia

  • He died and was buried on Nov. 11, which to this day is not just Veterans Day, but Martinmas, a day to feast this curious conscientious objector to war.

    Shane Claiborne: When Soldiers Become Saints

  • “Yes,” continued Allan, fixing his eyes with a ghastly stare upon the opposite side of the hall, “they may well begin as they are to end; many a man will sleep this night upon the heath, that when the Martinmas wind shalt blow shall lie there stark enough, and reck little of cold or lack of covering.”

    A Legend of Montrose

  • The audience, however, is sorely puzzled by the events of this awful third night after Martinmas, and resents the obscurity of all this intrigue by candlelight.

    Henrik Ibsen

  • I am as free as the wind at Martinmas, that pays neither land-rent nor annual; all is explained — all settled with the honest old drivellers yonder of Auld Reekie.

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • “Surely, Mr. Touchwood,” said Bindloose, who felt his own account in the modern improvements, “a set of landlords, living like lairds in good earnest, and tenants with better housekeeping than the lairds used to have, and facing Whitsunday and Martinmas as I would face my breakfast — if these are not signs of wealth, I do not know where to seek for them.”

    Saint Ronan's Well

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