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 marshalling (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

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Other Words from marshal

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for marshal

Synonyms: Verb

mobilize, muster, rally

Antonyms: Verb

demob [chiefly British], demobilize

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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

Dozens of law enforcement personnel, including FBI agents and federal marshals, searched for the boy. Amanda Lee Myers, The Seattle Times, "Escaped teenager charged in mother’s death recaptured," 12 Apr. 2019 State lawmakers eventually approved the devices, over the objections of the board, the local fire marshal, and the Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "The Popular Mechanics Guide to Safer Schools," 1 Aug. 2018 William Earl Barrett, 27, was booked into the Seminole County jail Friday by U.S. marshals, records show. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney worker arrested in child porn investigation, records show," 5 Apr. 2018 Brown spent 2½ months in custody, with U.S. marshals shuttling him between Los Angeles and the nation's capital for court hearings. CBS News, "Chris Brown arrested on felony battery charge after Florida concert," 6 July 2018 The parade marshals this year were several World War II veterans who are members of the VFW, including Robert Schuld and Wade Krohn. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "WWII vets marshal patriotism as Loyalty Day Parade marks 40 years in New Lenox," 7 May 2018 Federal marshals reprimanded spectators outside court for waving at him or even flashing a thumbs-up. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Help! My Boss Is El Chapo," 12 Jan. 2019 The Texas Association of School Boards is aware of only one Texas school district that has adopted the marshal program, but the association declined to identify that district. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Clear Creek ISD committee considers slew of campus safety measures," 15 June 2018 Another $67 million would go toward creating the marshal’s program. Dan Sweeney, Sun-Sentinel.com, "House and Senate committees send Stoneman Douglas shooting bills to full chambers," 28 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My book manuscript was due to my editor in less than a year, but marshaling my despondent, wildly bereft thoughts for the purposes of creative work seemed a hurdle too elephantine to overcome. Rachel Vorona Cote, SELF, "Why I Embraced Skin Care After My Mother's Death," 18 Apr. 2019 The Chinese government is marshaling a national strategy to make companies like ZTE less dependent on foreign suppliers. Henry Farrell, Washington Post, "Trump doesn’t like China’s economic nationalism. So why is his administration stirring it up?," 24 Apr. 2018 The company effectively has been locked out of the U.S. market for years, but Washington has marshaled its allies, including the U.K., Australia and Japan, to look for potential risks associated with Huawei equipment in its supply chain. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. to Huawei: Don’t Lie to Your Bank," 28 Jan. 2019 Andrew said his job involves marshaling the resources of the Archdiocese and working with others to reduce violence. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "'This is a public health issue': North Shore towns mark Gun Violence Awareness Day," 11 June 2018 The back four has been well-marshalled by veteran central defender Jalal Hosseini, but younger players including Rouzbeh Cheshmi are now getting a look in. John Duerden, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Countdown: Iran face tough draw after unbeaten qualifiers," 20 May 2018 And there is little doubt China is marshaling massive finance in support. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The China 2025 Bugaboo," 13 Dec. 2018 Industry was also marshaling forces to overturn the ban. Jie Jenny Zou Of The Center For Public Integrity, The Seattle Times, "How DC unleashed fossil-fuel exports despite climate worries," 16 Oct. 2018 That is more money than has ever been marshaled for an initiative campaign, ever, in Washington history. David Roberts, Vox, "Big Oil is using brute financial force to kill 2 state sustainability initiatives," 4 Nov. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for marshal

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for marshal

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

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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

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