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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for marksmanship
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Weiss, rather pale in the face, gave a look at the result of his marksmanship.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • American determination and American marksmanship had saved three American lives.

  • The Terran had no illusions concerning his own marksmanship.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • The number of these, considering the darkness of the night, did credit to American marksmanship.

    Bamboo Tales Ira L. Reeves
  • We owe much to these trainings and these trials of marksmanship.

  • Our navy had no idea how low our standard of marksmanship was.

  • Harry was too much agitated to heed the compliment to his marksmanship.

    The Red Acorn John McElroy
  • Trevison was wide awake now, and his marksmanship as deadly as ever.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • The fusillade from the Petrel was evidently interfering with the enemy's marksmanship.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
British Dictionary definitions for marksmanship


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 marksmanship

1823, from marksman + -ship.



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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