- a very hard bowl in which softer substances are ground or pounded to a powder with a pestle
- any machine in which materials are ground or pounded
Origin of mortarFr mortier a short-barreled cannon with a low muzzle velocity, which hurls shells in a high trajectory
- any of various similar devices, for shooting lifelines, flares, etc.
Origin of mortarME morter < MFr mortier < L mortarium, a mixture of sand and lime: so called from the vessel in which it was made a mixture of cement or lime with sand and water, used between bricks or stones to bind them together in building, or as plaster
Origin of mortarMiddle English mortere from Old English mortere and Old French mortier, both from Classical Latin mortarium, mixing vessel or trough from Indo-European an unverified form m?tos, pulverized from base an unverified form mer-, to rub: see morbid
- to plaster or bind together with mortar
- to attack with mortar shells