from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A military officer of the highest rank in some countries.
  • n. A field marshal.
  • n. A U.S. federal officer of a judicial district who carries out court orders and discharges duties similar to those of a sheriff.
  • n. A city law enforcement officer in the United States who carries out court orders.
  • n. The head of a police or fire department in the United States.
  • n. A person in charge of a parade or ceremony.
  • n. A high official in a royal court, especially one aiding the sovereign in military affairs.
  • transitive v. To arrange or place (troops, for example) in line for a parade, maneuver, or review.
  • transitive v. To arrange, place, or set in methodical order: marshal facts in preparation for an exam. See Synonyms at arrange.
  • transitive v. To enlist and organize: trying to marshal public support.
  • transitive v. To guide ceremoniously; conduct or usher.
  • intransitive v. To take up positions in or as if in a military formation.
  • intransitive v. To take form or order: facts marshaling as research progressed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A high-ranking officer in the household of a medieval prince or lord, who was originally in charge of the cavalry and later the military forces in general.
  • n. A military officer of the highest rank in several countries, including France and the former Soviet Union; equivalent to a general of the army in the United States. See also field marshal.
  • n. A person in charge of the ceremonial arrangement and management of a gathering.
  • n. A federal lawman.
  • v. To arrange troops etc. in line for inspection or a parade.
  • v. To arrange facts etc. in some methodical order.
  • v. To ceremoniously guide, conduct or usher.
  • v. To gather data for transmission.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Originally, an officer who had the care of horses; a groom.
  • n. An officer of high rank, charged with the arrangement of ceremonies, the conduct of operations, or the like.
  • n. One who goes before a prince to declare his coming and provide entertainment; a harbinger; a pursuivant.
  • n. One who regulates rank and order at a feast or any other assembly, directs the order of procession, and the like.
  • n. The chief officer of arms, whose duty it was, in ancient times, to regulate combats in the lists.
  • n. The highest military officer.
  • n. A ministerial officer, appointed for each judicial district of the United States, to execute the process of the courts of the United States, and perform various duties, similar to those of a sheriff. The name is also sometimes applied to certain police officers of a city.
  • transitive v. To dispose in order; to arrange in a suitable manner.
  • transitive v. To direct, guide, or lead.
  • transitive v. To dispose in due order, as the different quarterings on an escutcheon, or the different crests when several belong to an achievement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dispose or set in order; arrange methodically; array.
  • Specifically— To draw up in battle array; review, as troops.
  • To order, as a procession.
  • To lead in a desired course; train; discipline.
  • To act as a marshal to; lead as harbinger or guide; usher.
  • In heraldry, to dispose (as more than one distinct coat of arms upon a shield) so as to form a single composition; group, as two or more distinct shields, so as to form a single composition; also, to associate (such accessories as the helm, mantling, crest, etc., and knightly and other insignia) with a shield of arms, thus again forming a single heraldic composition.
  • To arrange (the cars of a freight-train) in proper station order.
  • A common old spelling of martial as confused with marshal.
  • n. An officer charged with the duty of regulating processions and ceremonies, deciding on points of precedence, and maintaining order: applied generally to such officers throughout the middle ages and in more recent times, usually with some explanatory term: as, marshal of the palace; marshal of the lists.
  • n. A military officer of high rank, usually the highest under the chief of the state or the minister of war.
  • n. In the United States, a civil officer appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, in each judicial district, as the executive or administrative officer (corresponding to the sheriff of a county) for the United States Supreme Court, and for the circuit and district courts within his district.
  • n. An officer of any private society appointed to regulate its ceremonies and execute its orders.
  • n. In some universities, as in Cambridge, England, an officer attendant upon the chancellor or his deputy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make ready for action or use
  • n. (in some countries) a military officer of highest rank
  • n. a law officer having duties similar to those of a sheriff in carrying out the judgments of a court of law
  • v. lead ceremoniously, as in a procession
  • v. arrange in logical order
  • v. place in proper rank


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French mareschal, of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman marescal, marschal, Old French marescal, mareschal ("farrier; military commander"), from Late Latin mariscalcus ("groom, army commander, court dignitary"), either from Frankish *marhskalk, or from Old High German marah-scalc ("horse-servant"), from Proto-Germanic *marhaz + *skalkaz (whence Old Saxon maraskalk, marahscalc). Compare English mare + shalk.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • It is the ability, first, to make a choice, to evaluate the consequences of that chosen course of action, and to prize the outcomes, and then it is the capacity to marshal one’s energy in effective pursuit of the consequences or goals subtended by that choice.

    December 31, 2010