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 In 2013, Moulton was hired as a full-time fire marshal. Ayana Archie, The Courier-Journal, "'Large shoes to fill': Zoneton Fire names new chief in wake of COVID's toll on department," 21 Apr. 2021 The caller identifies himself to potential victims as a deputy U.S. marshal, the Tuesday statement said. Anchorage Daily News, "Scammer posing as law enforcement calls Alaskans and threatens arrest," 31 Mar. 2021 Jurors typically retire to a secure courthouse room where a court marshal keeps watch outside. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "The evidence is in at the trial of Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd. What happens now?," 15 Apr. 2021 When a marshal confronted him, Higueros claimed to be a law enforcement officer who was transporting a firearm related to a case. Fox News, "AWOL Army soldier tried to bring gun on flight, claimed to be law enforcement officer, prosecutors say," 10 Apr. 2021 The last person to go to trial for his alleged ties to the gang, Siale Angilau, was shot and killed by a federal marshal after Angilau grabbed a pen and a mechanical pencil and ran toward a witness who had started testifying about the gang. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "A Utah man convicted of gang-related robberies could be released from prison 40 years early," 1 Apr. 2021 In a separate case, a suspect shot and killed a deputy marshal in Tucson. AZCentral.com, "Arizona ranks No. 1 for shootings by US Marshals Service task forces, investigation shows," 11 Feb. 2021 The worker, concerned for his safety, walked faster, kept checking behind him and reported the encounter to a deputy marshal once inside the courthouse, prosecutors said. oregonlive, "Portland man who threatened federal contract worker with paintball gun sentenced to time served, year of supervision," 26 Jan. 2021 The Coconut Creek City Commission recently promoted its fire marshal Jeffery Gary to fire chief. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Coconut Creek fire chief leading plans for Broward’s newest fire-rescue department," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But even when neutralizing antibodies are in short supply or even absent, the rest of the immune system may marshal enough of a defense to fend off serious illness and death. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, "Vaccines Are Effective Against the New York Variant, Studies Find," 22 Apr. 2021 Those journalists and commentators who pin Chinese success on its ability to marshal resources have missed the point. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, "China’s Apparent Strengths Are Really Weaknesses," 18 Mar. 2021 The toll, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths reported worldwide, has far exceeded early projections, which assumed that federal and state governments would marshal a comprehensive and sustained response and individual Americans would heed warnings. Adam Geller, chicagotribune.com, "US death toll from COVID-19 at the brink of half a million lives — a milestone that does not come close to capturing the heartbreak," 22 Feb. 2021 The toll, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths reported worldwide, has far exceeded early projections, which assumed that federal and state governments would marshal a comprehensive and sustained response and individual Americans would heed warnings. Adam Geller, BostonGlobe.com, "US COVID-19 deaths at brink of 500,000, confirming virus’ tragic reach," 22 Feb. 2021 Concepts like universal background checks and an assault-weapons ban have long had broad public support, which a still-popular Biden is promising to marshal. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, "Biden goes alone on guns -- for now: The Note," 8 Apr. 2021 Whoever grabbed market share would be able to marshal the future of e-commerce. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "For Amazon and its workers, a search for fulfillment," 25 Mar. 2021 And then there’s the authority figure, the guy who’s a natural leader and wants to marshal everyone together in the name of a greater good. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "Eddie Huang’s ‘Boogie’ Wonderland," 24 Mar. 2021 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

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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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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