American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A crumbly mixture of clays, calcium and magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells that is sometimes found under desert sands and used as fertilizer for lime-deficient soils.
- v. To fertilize with such a mixture.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A mixture of clay with carbonate of lime, the latter being present in considerable quantity, forming a mass which is not consolidated, but falls to pieces readily on exposure to the air. The word marl, however, is used so vaguely as to be often ambiguous; and in England some substances are thus designated in which there is no lime. Marl is a valuable fertilizing material for different kinds of soil, according to its composition. In New Jersey the mixtures of greensand with clay much used as fertilizers are commonly called
marls. or greensand-marls, and many varieties thus designated contain no more than one or two per cent, of carbonate of lime. Marls and marly soils are especially well developed in the Permian and Triassic of England and on the continent. The upper division of the Keuper in England is known as the “Red Marl Series,” and in places reaches a thickness of 3,000 feet. These marls are largely quarried at various points for making bricks. See shell-marl.
- To overspread or manure with marl.
- Nautical, to wind, as a rope, with marline, spun-yarn, twine, or other small stuff, every turn being secured by a sort of hitch: a common method of fastening strips of canvas called parceling, to prevent chafing.
- To ravel, as silk.
- n. The fiber of those peacock-feathers which have the webs long and decomposed, so that the barbs stand apart, as if raveled: used for making artificial flies.
- To wonder; marvel.
- n. Marble.
- n. A marble (plaything).
- See the quotation.
- n. A mixed earthy substance, consisting of carbonate of lime, clay, and possibly sand, in very variable proportions, and accordingly designated as calcareous, clayey, or sandy.
- v. To cover, as part of a rope, with marline, marking a peculiar hitch at each turn to prevent unwinding.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. (Naut.) To cover, as part of a rope, with marline, marking a pecular hitch at each turn to prevent unwinding.
- n. A mixed earthy substance, consisting of carbonate of lime, clay, and sand, in very variable proportions, and accordingly designated as calcareous, clayey, or sandy. See greensand.
- v. To overspread or manure with marl.
- n. a loose and crumbling earthy deposit consisting mainly of calcite or dolomite; used as a fertilizer for soils deficient in lime
- From Old French marle from Late Latin marglia, diminutive of marga ("marl"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English marle, from Old French, from Medieval Latin margila, marla, diminutive of Latin marga, marl, of Celtic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But what (hall I fay if our whitifh foft clay grounds (whence is fometimes digged, what we call marl for manure of our lands) do grow f Ilhall relate a ftory that may fcem to give coun - tenance hereunto.”
“Closely associated with limestone in commercial uses, as well as in chemical composition, is calcareous marl, which is used extensively in the manufacture of Portland cement.”
“Many of the hills of Warren County, in which Vicksburg is situated, are composed of a curious soft limy clay, called marl, which, normally, has not the solidity of soft chalk.”
“They are, like the lands of the first class, of very easy tillage; and one good application of the marl, which is found in this section in exhaustless quanties, will add to their productiveness for twenty years.”
A Guide to Capitalists and Emigrants: Being a Statistical and Descriptive Account of the Several Counties of the State of North Carolina, United States of America; Together with Letters of Prominent Citizens of the State in Relation to the Soil, Climate, Productions, Minerals, &C., and an Account of the Swamp Lands of the State
“The subsoil at Varrains being largely composed of marl, which is much softer than the tufa of the Saint-Florent coteau, necessitated the roofs of the new galleries being worked in a particular form in order to avoid having recourse to either brickwork or masonry.”
“Guano has not been extensively used in New Jersey, owing to the abundance of green sand marl, which is a very valuable fertilizer, abounding in that part of the State most in need of artificial manures.”
“There is alfo found a certain kind of fat clay, called marl, both white and red, which they dig up and fpread upon their arable ground, which maketh it more rank, and bringeth corn in as great abundance as that which is dunged.”
“(J.B. *; W.B. *)  The term "marl" has been wrongly applied to many fire-clays.”
“For ordinary building operations there is a material -- a kind of marl-stone called _Adobe_ -- so soft when quarried that it can be cut out in small blocks with a hand-saw, but it hardens considerably on exposure to the air.”
“For, beside the compest that is carried out of the husbandmen's yards, ditches, ponds, dung-houses, or cities and great towns, we have with us a kind of white marl which is of so great force that if it be cast over a piece of land but once in threescore years it shall not need of any further compesting.”
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