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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mary, marow, marowe, marowȝ, from Old English mearg, from Proto-Germanic *mazgą, *mazgaz, from Proto-Indo-European *mozgos, *mosgʰos. Compare West Frisian moarch, Dutch merg, German Mark, Swedish märg, Icelandic mergur, and also Russian мозг ("brain").



marrow ‎(plural marrows)

Transected beef bones, exposing the marrow inside
  1. (uncountable) The substance inside bones which produces blood cells.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  2. (countable) A kind of vegetable like a large courgette/zucchini or squash.
    • 1847, Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk, "Steam-Boat Voyage to Barbados", Bentley's Miscellany, Vol XXII, London: Richard Bentley, p.37:
      The finest European vegetables, cabbages, cauliflowers, potatoes, vegetable marrow, were lying in the market-hall, awaiting purchasers.
  3. The essence; the best part.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      It takes from our achievements [] / The pith and marrow of our attribute.
    • Thomas Tusser (1524-1580)
      Chopping and changing I cannot commend, / With thief or his marrow, for fear of ill end.
Derived terms[edit]
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Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse margr.

Alternative forms[edit]


marrow ‎(plural marrows)

  1. (Geordie, informal) A friend, pal, buddy, mate.
    Cheers marrow!
  2. (Scotland) One of a pair; a match; a companion; an intimate associate.


  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, ISBN 1904794165
  • Northumberland Words, English Dialect Society, R. Oliver Heslop, 1893–4
  • A List of words and phrases in everyday use by the natives of Hetton-le-Hole in the County of Durham, F.M.T.Palgrave, English Dialect Society vol.74, 1896, [1]