1

marshal

noun mar·shal \ ˈmär-shəl \
variants: or less commonly marshall
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of marshal

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
  • a parade marshal
b :a general officer of the highest military rank
3 a :an officer having charge of prisoners
b (1) :a ministerial (see ministerial 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

marshalcy

play \-sē\ noun

marshalship

play \-ˌship\ noun

marshal was our Word of the Day on 12/29/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of marshal from the Web

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.

marshal Has Old German Roots

Although most French words are derived from Latin, a few result from the 3rd-century Germanic occupation of France, and the early French mareschal is one such word. Mareschal is related to Old High German marahscalc, formed by combining marah ("horse") and scalc ("servant"). Our marshal, which comes from mareschal, originally meant "a person in charge of the upkeep of horses" when it was borrowed into Middle English, but by the 13th century it described a high royal official as well. Eventually it came to have other meanings.

Origin and Etymology of marshal

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


2

marshal

verb
variants: or less commonly marshall

Definition of marshal

marshaled or marshalled; marshaling or marshalling \ˈmärsh-(ə-)liŋ\
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

Examples of marshal in a Sentence

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

  2. marshaled their forces for battle

Recent Examples of marshal from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of marshal

marshal Synonyms

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

MARSHAL Defined for English Language Learners

marshal

noun

Definition of marshal for English Language Learners

  • : 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


marshal

verb

Definition of marshal for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

marshal

noun mar·shal \ ˈmär-shəl \

Definition of marshal for Students

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

2

marshal

verb

Definition of marshal for Students

marshaled or marshalled; marshaling or marshalling
:to arrange in order
  • marshal troops

Law Dictionary

1

marshal

noun mar·shal \ ˈmär-shəl \

legal Definition of marshal

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.

2

marshal

transitive verb
variants: also marshall

legal Definition of marshal

marshaled also marshalled; marshaling also marshalling
: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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