Feminine form of the Latin name Martinus (see Martin). It was in use from an early period, being borne by a notorious poisoner mentioned by the historian Tacitus. The 3rd-century saint of the same name is of doubtful authenticity. Modern use of the name in the English-speaking world seems to be the result of German or Eastern European influence, as in the case of the American tennis player Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), who was born in the Czech Republic.