Definition of martlet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmärtlət/


A bird like a swallow without feet, borne (typically with the wings closed) as a charge or a mark of cadency for a fourth son.
Example sentences
  • What the martlet was originally is a matter for dispute. Some claim it was the martin, for in some mediaeval documents it is written as "martenette".
  • The fifth martlet was added because when the charges were placed on a shield, the base looked a bit empty.
  • The martlet in French heraldry is called the merlette, represented by a swallow, depicted without legs, and later usually. without a beak.


Late Middle English (denoting a swift): from Old French merlet, influenced by martinet (see martin).

Words that rhyme with martlet


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mart·let

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