Marsh (?), n. [OE. mersch, AS. mersc, fr. mere lake. See Mere pool, and cf. Marish, Morass.]
A tract of soft wet land, commonly covered partially or wholly with water; a fen; a swamp; a morass.
[Written also marish
Marsh asphodel Bot., a plant (Nartheeium ossifragum) with linear equitant leaves, and a raceme of small white flowers; -- called also bog asphodel. -- Marsh cinquefoil Bot., a plant (Potentilla palustris) having purple flowers, and found growing in marshy places; marsh five-finger. -- Marsh elder. Bot. (a) The guelder-rose or cranberry tree (Viburnum Opulus). (b) In the United States, a composite shrub growing in salt marshes (Iva frutescens). -- Marsh five-finger. Bot. See Marsh cinquefoil (above). -- Marsh gas. Chem. See under Gas. -- Marsh grass Bot., a genus (Spartina) of coarse grasses growing in marshes; -- called also cord grass. The tall S. cynosuroides is not good for hay unless cut very young. The low S. juncea is a common component of salt hay. -- Marsh harrier Zool., a European hawk or harrier (Circus aeruginosus); -- called also marsh hawk, moor hawk, moor buzzard, puttock. -- Marsh hawk. Zool. (a) A hawk or harrier (Circus cyaneus), native of both America and Europe. The adults are bluish slate above, with a white rump. Called also hen harrier, and mouse hawk. (b) The marsh harrier. -- Marsh hen Zool., a rail; esp., Rallus elegans of fresh-water marshes, and R. longirostris of salt-water marshes. -- Marsh mallow Bot., a plant of the genus Althaea ( A. officinalis) common in marshes near the seashore, and whose root is much used in medicine as a demulcent. -- Marsh marigold. Bot. See in the Vocabulary. -- Marsh pennywort Bot., any plant of the umbelliferous genus Hydrocotyle; low herbs with roundish leaves, growing in wet places; -- called also water pennywort. -- Marsh quail Zool., the meadow lark. -- Marsh rosemary Bot., a plant of the genus Statice (S. Limonium), common in salt marshes. Its root is powerfully astringent, and is sometimes used in medicine. Called also sea lavender. -- Marsh samphire Bot., a plant (Salicornia herbacea) found along seacoasts. See Glasswort. -- Marsh St. John's-wort Bot., an American herb (Elodes Virginica) with small opposite leaves and flesh-colored flowers. -- Marsh tea. Bot.. Same as Labrador tea. -- Marsh trefoil. Bot. Same as Buckbean. -- Marsh wren Zool., any species of small American wrens of the genus Cistothorus, and allied genera. They chiefly inhabit salt marshes.
© Webster 1913.