There are 2 definitions of mortar in English:

mortar1

Syllabification: mor·tar
Pronunciation: /ˈmôrtər
 
/

noun

  • 1A cup-shaped receptacle made of hard material, in which ingredients are crushed or ground, used especially in cooking or pharmacy: a mortar and pestle
    More example sentences
    • With a mortar and pestle, crush the thyme, garlic, and peppercorns and place. in a large saucepan.
    • They can be ground easily in a mortar and pestle or in an electric spice or coffee grinder.
    • Individual garnets were cut from selected samples, crushed in a mortar and pestle and sieved.
  • 2A short, smoothbore gun for firing shells (technically called bombs) at high angles.
    More example sentences
    • A spokesman for the Polish-led forces reportedly said the insurgents used a car bomb, mortars and machine guns.
    • The Rev Alan Reeve went to preach in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, last month and was evacuated two weeks later following an attack of mortar bombs and machine gun fire.
    • Near Baquba, insurgents coordinated a car bombing and a mortar attack on a police station.
  • 2.1A device used for firing a lifeline or firework.
    More example sentences
    • Rockets are more sophisticated devices than mortars.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Attack or bombard with shells fired from a mortar.
    More example sentences
    • In June 2004, the Post Exchange here was mortared, killing two Soldiers and wounding more than a dozen additional troops.
    • Staff Sergeant Brian Flading, a 19D Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, remembers an incident when his platoon was mortared one night in Balad.
    • In a couple of minutes we're in an even poorer-looking neighborhood, bouncing slowly on a street that resembles a heavily mortared battlefield.

Origin

late Old English (sense 2 of the noun), from Old French mortier, from Latin mortarium (to which the English spelling was later assimilated).

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of mortar in English:

mortar2

Syllabification: mor·tar
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈmôrtər/

noun

  • A mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.
    More example sentences
    • The major components of construction, as we all know, are, cement, steel, timber, bricks, mortar, sand, etc.
    • A recycling operation takes concrete, brick, mortar and plaster from building sites and grinds them down into building soil to be sold.
    • In addition to using the same granite, the original mortar was matched with Portland cement lime mortar.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Fix or join using mortar: the pipe can be mortared in place
    More example sentences
    • Although steps must be mortared for safety, pavers and flagstones on level ground can be dry-laid in sand, which allows water and oxygen to reach tree roots below.
    • These are installed as the blocks are mortared into place.
    • Like conventional bricks, adobes are laid in a running bond - an overlapping pattern - then mortared in place with adobe mud.

Derivatives

mortarless

adjective
More example sentences
  • You can apply these principals of mortarless brickwork to anything from a small patio to a driveway - the scope of the project is up to you.
  • The bricklaying process for a mortarless barbecue is much simpler than that of a brick barbecue with mortar.
  • Even for a novice do-it-yourselfer, installing a mortarless flagstone path is a practically foolproof project.

mortary

adjective
More example sentences
  • The cobblestones were sparser here and frost and mud had mixed into a mortary cement around them, freezing prints of shoes and hooves into a miniature landscape of ridges and valleys.
  • Under the mortary layer, a chalk surface with a semi-circular raised concrete edge was revealed.
  • Also, the forensic doctor believed that the body had been cleaned before Ted was laid out in a mortary position.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French mortier, from Latin mortarium, probably a transferred sense of the word denoting a container (see mortar1).

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