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[mahrks-muh n] /ˈmɑrks mən/
noun, plural marksmen.
a person who is skilled in shooting at a mark; a person who shoots well.
  1. the lowest rating in rifle marksmanship, below that of sharpshooter and expert.
  2. a person who has achieved such a rating.
Origin of marksman
First recorded in 1645-55; mark1 + 's1 + -man
Related forms
marksmanship, noun
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for marksman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What a target for a while he would be for every marksman at any range to shoot at!

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • Two smart cracks at some distance indicated the location of the marksman.

  • "You might hit me," said Ebenezer, who knew nothing of Tom's skill as a marksman.

    The Young Miner Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • The marksman had been Tucker, the fellow hired to take the great scout's life.

    The Boy Land Boomer Ralph Bonehill
  • I hereby award each of you the bronze medal of marksman First.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • He would go out into the fields and see what he could do as a marksman.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • Apparently the diversion had no effect on the marksman within.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman
  • Silva, indeed, after the first shot, had but little to boast of as a marksman.

    A Voyage round the World W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for marksman


noun (pl) -men
a person skilled in shooting
a serviceman selected for his skill in shooting, esp for a minor engagement
a qualification awarded in certain armed services for skill in shooting
Derived Forms
marksmanship, noun
markswoman, noun:feminine
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
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Word Origin and History for marksman

1650s, from mark (n.1) in Middle English sense of "target" + man; with genitive -s. Earlier form was markman (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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