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drumhead court-martial

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noun
  1. a court-martial held, usually on a battlefield, for the summary trial of charges of offenses committed during military operations.

Origin of drumhead court-martial

First recorded in 1825–35; so called from the use of a drumhead as a table during the court-martial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for drumhead court-martial

drumhead court-martial

noun
  1. a military court convened to hear urgent charges of offences committed in action

Word Origin

C19: from the use of a drumhead as a table around which the court-martial was held
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012