Word of the Day : December 29, 2014


noun MAR-shul


1 : a person who arranges and directs the ceremonial aspects of a gathering

2 : an officer of the highest rank in some military forces

3 : a federal official having duties similar to a sheriff's

4 : the administrative head of a police or fire department

Did You Know?

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.


A judge ordered marshals to seize the cargo.

"Thank you to the parade marshal for keeping all of us in our place for the parade and ensuring that the ceremony proceeded on time." - Pat Strack, Borehamwood Times (UK), November 20, 2014

Word Family Quiz

What word beginning with "s" is related to Old High German scalc, meaning "servant," and refers to a steward in charge of a lord's estate in feudal times? The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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