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

  • n. A female horse or the female of other equine species.
  • n. Any of the large dark areas on the moon or on Mars or other planets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A dark, large circular plain; a “sea”.
  • n. On Saturn's moon Titan, a large expanse of what is thought to be liquid hydrocarbons.
  • n. An adult female horse.
  • n. A foolish woman.
  • n. A type of evil spirit thought to sit on the chest of a sleeping person; also the feeling of suffocation felt during sleep; a nightmare.
  • n. (Shortening of nightmare) A nightmare; a frustrating or terrible experience.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The female of the horse and other equine quadrupeds.
  • n. Sighing, suffocative panting, intercepted utterance, with a sense of pressure across the chest, occurring during sleep; the incubus; -- obsolete, except in the compound nightmare.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The female of the horse, or of other species of the genus Equus.
  • n. A few ears of grain left standing and tied together, at which the harvesters throw their sickles till the knot is cut.
  • n. Oppressed sleep; incubus, formerly regarded as an evil spirit of the night that oppresses persons during sleep: now used only in the compound nightmare.
  • An obsolete form of more.
  • n. A sea; specifically, in astronomy, a name for certain dark regions on the surface of the moon which were supposed by Galileo and other early observers to be seas or oceans, and are now regarded as plains; also a name for certain dark regions on the planet Mars.

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

  • n. female equine animal
  • n. a dark region of considerable extent on the surface of the moon


Middle English, alteration of Old English mȳre (influenced by forms of mearh, horse); see marko- in Indo-European roots.
Latin, sea; see mori- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin mare ("sea"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English mare, mere, from Old English mere, miere ("female horse, mare"), from Proto-Germanic *marhijō (“female horse”), from Proto-Indo-European *mark-, *marḱ- (“horse”). Cognate with Scots mere, meir, mear ("mare"), North Frisian mar ("mare, horse"), West Frisian merje ("mare"), Dutch merrie ("mare"), German Mähre ("mare"), Danish mær ("mare"), Swedish märr ("mare"), Icelandic meri ("mare"). Related also to Old English mearh ("male horse, steed"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English mare, from Old English mare ("nightmare, monster"), from Proto-Germanic *marōn (“nightmare, incubus”) (compare Dutch (dial.) mare, German (dial.) Mahr, Old Norse mara ( > Danish mare, Swedish mara 'incubus, nightmare')), from Proto-Indo-European *mor- (“feminine evil spirit”). Akin to Old Irish Morrígain 'elf queen', Albanian tmerr ("horror"), Polish zmora 'nightmare', Czech mura 'nightmare, moth'. (Wiktionary)



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  • a dark region of considerable extent on the surface of the moon; the dark spots we see

    June 18, 2008