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noun mar·shal \ˈmär-shəl\

Simple Definition of marshal

  • : an officer of the highest rank in some military forces

  • : a federal official who is responsible for doing the things that are ordered by a court of law, finding and capturing criminals, etc.

  • : the head of a division of a police or fire department

Full Definition of marshal

  1. 1 a :  a high official in the household of a medieval king, prince, or noble originally having charge of the cavalry but later usually in command of the military forces b :  a person who arranges and directs the ceremonial aspects of a gathering

  2. 2 a :  field marshal b :  a general officer of the highest military rank

  3. 3 a :  an officer having charge of prisoners b (1) :  a ministerial officer appointed for a judicial district (as of the United States) to execute the process of the courts and perform various duties similar to those of a sheriff (2) :  a city law officer entrusted with particular duties c :  the administrative head of a city police department or fire department

mar·shal·cy play \-sē\ noun
mar·shal·ship play \-ˌship\ noun

Variants of marshal

also mar·shall play \ˈmär-shəl\

Origin of marshal

Middle English, from Anglo-French mareschal, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German marahscalc marshal, from marah horse + scalc servant

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with marshal



verb mar·shal

Simple Definition of marshal

  • : to arrange (a group of people, such as soldiers) in an orderly way

  • : to move or lead (a group of people) in a careful way

  • : to arrange or prepare (something, such as your thoughts or ideas) in a clear, effective, or organized way

Full Definition of marshal

marshaled or marshalledmarshal·ing or marshal·ling \ˈmärsh-(ə-)liŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to place in proper rank or position <marshaling the troops>

  3. 2 :  to bring together and order in an appropriate or effective way <marshal arguments>

  4. 3 :  to lead ceremoniously or solicitously :  usher <marshaling her little group of children down the street>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to take form or order <ideas marshaling neatly>

Examples of marshal

  1. She carefully marshaled her thoughts before answering the question.

  2. <marshaled their forces for battle>

15th Century

First Known Use of marshal

15th century

Variants of marshal

also marshall

Synonym Discussion of marshal

order, arrange, marshal, organize, systematize, methodize mean to put persons or things into their proper places in relation to each other. order suggests a straightening out so as to eliminate confusion <ordered her business affairs>. arrange implies a setting in sequence, relationship, or adjustment <arranged the files numerically>. marshal suggests gathering and arranging in preparation for a particular operation or effective use <marshaling the facts for argument>. organize implies arranging so that the whole aggregate works as a unit with each element having a proper function <organized the volunteers into teams>. systematize implies arranging according to a predetermined scheme <systematized billing procedures>. methodize suggests imposing an orderly procedure rather than a fixed scheme <methodizes every aspect of daily living>.

Seen and Heard

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February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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