marshal

noun
mar·​shal | \ ˈmär-shəl How to pronounce marshal (audio) \
variants: or less commonly marshall

Definition of marshal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 a parade marshal
b : a general officer of the highest military rank
3a : an officer having charge of prisoners
b(1) : a ministerial (see ministerial sense 3) officer appointed for a judicial district (as of the U.S.) 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

marshal

verb
variants: or less commonly marshall
marshaled or marshalled; marshaling or marshalling\ ˈmärsh-​(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce marshal (audio) \

Definition of marshal (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to place in proper rank or position marshaling the troops
2 : to bring together and order in an appropriate or effective way marshal arguments marshaled her thoughts before answering the question
3 : to lead ceremoniously or solicitously : usher marshaling her little group of children down the street

intransitive verb

: to take form or order ideas marshaling neatly

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from marshal

Noun

marshalcy \ ˈmär-​shəl-​sē How to pronounce marshal (audio) \ noun
marshalship \ ˈmär-​shəl-​ˌship How to pronounce marshal (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for marshal

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for marshal

Verb

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

Marshal Has Old German Roots

Noun

Although most French words are derived from Latin, a few—among them marshal—are Germanic. In the last centuries of the Roman Empire, the Germanic Franks occupied what is now France and left behind a substantial linguistic legacy, including what became medieval French mareschal. Mareschal came from a Frankish compound noun corresponding to Old High German marahscal, composed of marah, meaning “horse” (Old English mearh, with a feminine form mere, whence English mare), and scalc, meaning “servant” (Old English scealc). The original “marshal” was a servant in charge of horses, but by the time the word was borrowed from French into English in the 14th century it referred primarily to a high royal official.

Examples of marshal in a Sentence

Verb She carefully marshaled her thoughts before answering the question. marshaled their forces for battle
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some events may require prior approval by the state fire marshal; more information is available at OpenSafely. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Edwards eases COVID-19 occupancy limits; mask mandate continues," 31 Mar. 2021 Fatal fire: The state fire marshal is investigating a fire that killed a 3-year-old girl at a Garfield Heights apartment complex. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland’s mass vaccination site for COVID administers its first doses: The Wake Up for Tuesday, March 16, 2021," 16 Mar. 2021 Investigators from the office of the state fire marshal were also on scene to investigate, according to Mieth. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "5-alarm fire in Worcester kills 2, spreads to several three-deckers," 12 Feb. 2021 While the council proposed opening the park immediately, town attorney Tim Mathison advised aldermen following the meeting that a proposal to reopen the park needed to be submitted to the state fire marshal first. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Pearl River aldermen change entirety of La. 41 Spur speed limit to 35 mph," 21 Jan. 2021 Before serving as assistant chief, Tyner held several other positions in the department, including firefighter, fire motor operator, fire marshal, fire captain and battalion chief. Liz Navratil, Star Tribune, "Bryan Tyner approved as next Minneapolis fire chief," 4 Dec. 2020 But Bailey, the fire marshal, who had left the office in 2011, remained unconvinced. Washington Post, "A flawed investigation left Jason Lively behind bars for 15 years for a fire he didn’t set. He’s not alone.," 22 Oct. 2020 While there are adults on the course, including a race marshal on a snowmobile, the young athletes also have satellite trackers for their safety. Marlena Sloss New York Times, Star Tribune, "Two days, 10 dogs, 150 miles in the wilderness: This is the Iditarod for teens," 19 Mar. 2021 While there are adults on the course, including a race marshal on a snowmobile, the young athletes also have satellite trackers for their safety. New York Times, "2 Days, 10 Dogs, 150 Miles in the Wilderness: This Is the Iditarod for Teens," 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The inaction on some of her major campaign promises, critics say, reflects the mayor’s inability to marshal enough support for her plans or a lack of commitment to the issues. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "2 years after her election, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot hasn’t yet fulfilled key campaign promises," 2 Apr. 2021 In the Lombardy region of Italy, once the epicenter of the pandemic, the vaccination campaign got off to a slow start in part because the top health care official refused to marshal medical workers over the Christmas holidays. New York Times, "Where Europe Went Wrong in Its Vaccine Rollout, and Why," 20 Mar. 2021 The trick is going to be finding out who gets to marshal that bloc and to what aims. Liz Elting, Forbes, "Women’s Jobs Are Vanishing. We’re Going To Have To Deal With That Eventually.," 19 Mar. 2021 Trying to marshal forward, never cry, never feeling it. Kaitlyn Greenidge, Harper's BAZAAR, "“The Real Fight Is to Help People”: Why Lindsey Boylan Decided to Speak Out," 4 Mar. 2021 Key to Biden’s success will be his ability to contain the pandemic and marshal the resources to hasten distribution of a vaccine. Anchorage Daily News, "President Biden faces pandemic, economic crisis, national division," 20 Jan. 2021 If Trump decides not to run in 2024, a GOP candidate will still need to marshal the support of a large chunk of the outgoing president’s base and adopt many of his policies. Tracy Wilkinson Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "What does the future hold for Michael Pompeo, Trump’s most Trumpy Cabinet secretary?," 28 Dec. 2020 To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. USA TODAY, "Read the transcript of what Joe Biden said in his first speech as president-elect," 8 Nov. 2020 To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "Read Joe Biden’s full acceptance speech as president-elect," 8 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marshal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of marshal

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for marshal

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about marshal

Time Traveler for marshal

Time Traveler

The first known use of marshal was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about marshal

Statistics for marshal

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Marshal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marshal. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for marshal

marshal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of marshal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an officer of the highest rank in some military forces
US : a federal official who is responsible for doing the things that are ordered by a court of law, finding and capturing criminals, etc.
US : the head of a division of a police or fire department

marshal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of marshal (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

marshal

noun
mar·​shal | \ ˈmär-shəl How to pronounce marshal (audio) \

Kids Definition of marshal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who arranges and directs ceremonies a parade marshal
2 : an officer of the highest rank in some military forces
3 : a federal official having duties similar to those of a sheriff
4 : the head of a division of a city government fire marshal

marshal

verb
marshaled or marshalled; marshaling or marshalling

Kids Definition of marshal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to arrange in order marshal troops

marshal

noun
mar·​shal | \ ˈmär-shəl \

Legal Definition of marshal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a ministerial officer appointed for each judicial district of the U.S. to execute the process of the courts and perform various duties similar to those of a sheriff
2 : a law officer in some cities (as New York) of the U.S. who is entrusted with particular duties (as serving the process of justice of the peace courts)
3 : the administrative head of the police or especially fire department in some cities of the U.S.

marshal

transitive verb
variants: also marshall
marshaled also marshalled; marshaling also marshalling

Legal Definition of marshal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fix the order of (assets) with respect to liability or availability for payment of obligations also : to fix the order of (as liens or remedies) with respect to priority against a debtor's assets — see also marshaling

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on marshal

What made you want to look up marshal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!