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

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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

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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 And yet here’s Tim, the marshal from Utah, who is so clearly pretty racist and Jack calls him on it. Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times, "America has an ‘unsettling’ love affair with gangsters. ‘Fargo’s’ cast is no different," 22 Nov. 2020 People can also attend a virtual Housing & Public Safety Element update workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday, moderated by city planners, the Poway fire marshal, and the Sheriff’s Poway Station crime prevention specialist. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "On the agenda, Nov. 15," 15 Nov. 2020 The release said Armstrong's vehicle nearly struck a marshal, who responded with gunfire. William Sanders, Arkansas Online, "Police: Fugitive arrested after assaulting U.S. marshal," 5 Nov. 2020 Dargan, the former state fire marshal, who was a firefighter for 30 years and has a son working as a first responder right now, believes the state makes a mistake by not viewing fire prevention and suppression as the same thing. Elizabeth Weil, ProPublica, "California Will Keep Burning. But Housing Policy Is Making It Worse.," 2 Oct. 2020 The fire that killed a West Virginia Air National Guard firefighter early Sunday was arson, the state’s fire marshal said. Ben Kesslen, NBC News, "West Virginia fire that killed National Guard member was arson, fire marshal says," 27 Dec. 2020 Johnson told commissioners Monday the owner had still not contacted the fire marshal’s office as directed to indicate a crowd manager was certified and available to work. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, "As more Baltimore County bars are fined for coronavirus offenses, official warns of additional restrictions," 14 Dec. 2020 There were no smoke alarms in the home, according to the fire marshal. S. Wayne Carter Jr., baltimoresun.com, "Hoarding conditions discovered in Havre de Grace fatal fire but wasn’t reason woman couldn’t escape, officials say," 1 Dec. 2020 Thursday’s ruling would exacerbate those issues, said Małgorzata Kidawa Błońska, deputy-marshal of the Parliament. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland’s Top Court Tightens Strict Abortion Laws," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Working with Shane Crotty, his fellow immunologist at the La Jolla Institute, Sette found that COVID-19 patients whose immune systems can marshal all three responses against the spike protein tend to fare the best. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The End of the Pandemic Is Now in Sight," 18 Nov. 2020 That would leave American forces to advise from one key U.S.-Afghan command center, helping the Afghan military marshal its resources and plan its defenses. New York Times, "Trump Is Said to Be Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia," 16 Nov. 2020 Gary Reback, a Palo Alto lawyer who helped marshal evidence against the software giant, made the cover of Wired. Owen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Is it too late to stop Google and Facebook?," 21 Oct. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for marshal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for marshal

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Marshal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marshal. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for marshal

marshal

noun
How to pronounce marshal (audio)

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.
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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