What does mortar mean?

Definitions for mortar
ˈmɔr tərmor·tar

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word mortar.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mortar, howitzer, trench mortarnoun

    a muzzle-loading high-angle gun with a short barrel that fires shells at high elevations for a short range

  2. mortarnoun

    used as a bond in masonry or for covering a wall

  3. mortarverb

    a bowl-shaped vessel in which substances can be ground and mixed with a pestle

  4. mortarverb

    plaster with mortar

    "mortar the wall"


  1. mortarnoun

    A mixture of lime or cement, sand and water used for bonding bricks and stones.

  2. mortarnoun

    A muzzle-loading, indirect fire weapon with a tube length of 10 to 20 calibers.

  3. mortarnoun

    A hollow vessel used to pound, crush, rub, grind or mix ingredients with a pestle.

  4. mortarverb

    To use mortar or plaster to join two things together.

  5. mortarverb

    To fire a mortar (weapon)

  6. Etymology: From mortier, from mortarium.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Mortarnoun

    Etymology: mortarium, Lat. mortier, Fr.

    Except you could bray Christendom in a mortar, and mould it into a new paste, there is no possibility of an holy war. Francis Bacon, holy War.

    The action of the diaphragm and muscles serves for the comminution of the meat in the stomach by their constant agitation upwards and downwards, resembling the pounding of materials in a mortar. John Ray, on Creation.

    Those arms which for nine centuries had brav’d
    The wrath of time on antique stone engrav’d,
    Now torn by mortars stand yet undefac’d
    On nobler trophies by thy valour rais’d. George Granville.

  2. Mortarnoun

    Cement made of lime and sand with water, and used to join stones or bricks.

    Etymology: morter, Dutch; mortier, French.

    Mortar, in architecture, is a preparation of lime and sand mixed up with water, serving as a cement, and used by masons and bricklayers in building of walls of stone and brick. Wolfius observes, that the sand should be dry and sharp, so as to prick the hands when rubbed, yet not earthy, so as to foul the water it is washed in: he also finds fault with masons and bricklayers as committing a great error, in letting their lime slacken and cool before they make up their mortar, and also in letting their mortar cool and die before they use it; therefore he advises, that if you expect your work to be well done, and to continue long, to work up the lime quick, and but a little at a time, that the mortar may not lie long before it be used.

    I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    They had brick for stone, and slime for mortar. Gen. xi. 3.

    Lime hot out of the kiln mixed soft with water, putting sand to it, will make better mortar than other. John Mortimer.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mortarnoun

    a strong vessel, commonly in form of an inverted bell, in which substances are pounded or rubbed with a pestle

  2. Mortarnoun

    a short piece of ordnance, used for throwing bombs, carcasses, shells, etc., at high angles of elevation, as 45¡, and even higher; -- so named from its resemblance in shape to the utensil above described.

  3. Mortarnoun

    a building material made by mixing lime, cement, or plaster of Paris, with sand, water, and sometimes other materials; -- used in masonry for joining stones, bricks, etc., also for plastering, and in other ways

  4. Mortarverb

    to plaster or make fast with mortar

  5. Mortarnoun

    a chamber lamp or light

  6. Etymology: [OE. mortier, F. mortier, L. mortarium mortar, a large basin or trough in which mortar is made, a mortar (in sense 1, above). See 1st Mortar.]


  1. Mortar

    A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mortar

    mor′tar, n. a vessel in which substances are pounded with a pestle: a short and very thick piece of artillery of large calibre, firing a heavy shell at a fixed angle of 45° or thereabouts, so as to strike vertically: a cement of lime, sand, and water, used to bind together stones or bricks in building.—v.t. to close up or in as with mortar: to pound in a mortar.—n. Mor′tar-board, a square board with a handle beneath for holding mortar which the workman is using: a square-crowned academic cap. [A.S. mortere—L. mortarium, a mortar.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. mortar

    A muzzle-loading, indirect fire weapon with either a rifled or smooth bore. It usually has a shorter range than a howitzer, employs a higher angle of fire, and has a tube with a length of 10 to 20 calibers. See also gun; howitzer.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. mortar

    A short piece of ordnance used for throwing shells, so that they may fall nearly vertical; they thus acquire force for breaking through roofs, decks, &c. It is fired at a fixed angle of elevation, generally at 45°, the charge of powder varying according to the range required.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. mortar

    Short cannon for throwing shells, usually fired at angles from 45° to 60° elevation, called “vertical fire,” in contradistinction to the fire of long cannon, usually made at low angles. Mortars—so called from their similarity of form to the mortar for pulverizing, which has retained its familiar shape from the earliest ages—are believed to have been the first guns used, and, though changed from age to age frequently in form of chamber, size, and projectile, all ages have found them too useful in their special way to suppress or essentially alter them. The “Coehorn” mortar—so called from the famous Dutch engineer, Gen. Coehorn, who first proposed them in 1674—is to-day in use, of the same pattern and for the like service then suggested. Monster mortars have been constructed from time to time, in the hope of producing immense destruction in bombardments with single shells containing a large quantity of powder. The most recent of these, the monster mortar made by Mallet for the British government, weighing 114,000 pounds, with a bore of 36 inches and a shell of 2912 pounds, failed to be of any service. Perhaps the most unique mortars ever made were to be found in the island of Malta in the last century. The solid rock had been hollowed out into immense mortars, some of them 6 feet wide at the mouth. These tremendous fougasses (the proper term for them) were to be filled with stones, shells, and missiles of various kinds, to descend in a crushing shower upon an enemy attempting a landing. For different kinds of mortars now in use, see Ordnance.

How to pronounce mortar?

How to say mortar in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of mortar in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of mortar in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of mortar in a Sentence

  1. The Wilson Center report:

    Finland’s artillery forces are the largest and best-equipped in Western Europe, with some 1,500 artillery weapons, including 700 Howitzer guns, 700 heavy mortar, and 100 rocket launcher systems, the Finnish artillery has more artillery firepower than the combined militaries of Poland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden can currently muster.

  2. George Sherman:

    That's part of brick-and-mortar retail today, part of being a good retailer is you're not trying to hold onto every store.

  3. William Galvin:

    There were some coins that were tossed in the 1855 ceremony in the mix of the mortar. They are in good condition so we are optimistic that the box itself has withstood the test of time and that it will therefore be holding the contents securely.

  4. Harminder Sahni:

    Where brick and mortar grocery in India fails to muster scale, online can do it very, very quickly just by the sheer opportunity of reaching a number of people with much less investment.

  5. Matthew Hertz:

    Inventory that will be sold online and in brick and mortar for the holidays is now being offloaded from containers at the ports, trucked to warehouses and [ prepared for ] shipment.

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"mortar." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/mortar>.

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    interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
    • A. sweep
    • B. helm
    • C. dint
    • D. vigorish

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