[ kawrt-mahr-shuh l, -mahr-, kohrt- ]
/ ˈkɔrtˌmɑr ʃəl, -ˈmɑr-, ˈkoʊrt- /
noun, plural courts-mar·tial, court-mar·tials.
a court consisting of military or naval personnel appointed by a commander to try charges of offenses by soldiers, sailors, etc., against military or naval law.
a trial by such a court.
a conviction by such a court: He lost his privileges because of his court-martial.
a session of such a court: He attended the court-martial this morning.
verb (used with object), court-mar·tialed, court-mar·tial·ing or (especially British) court-mar·tialled, court-mar·tial·ling.
to arraign and try by court-martial.
martial lawRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Marshal vs. MartialWhile the words are pronounced the same, they do have different meanings. Martial is an adjective that describes things related to war. A marshal is a police or military officer. Martial can only be used as an adjective, but marshal can be used as either a noun or a verb, but not an adjective. “But what about marshall?” you ask? We’ll get to that in …
Origin of court-martial
First recorded in 1565–75; earlier martial court
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for court martial
noun plural court martials or courts martial
a military court that tries persons subject to military law
verb court-martial, -tials, -tialling or -tialled or US -tials, -tialing or -tialed
(tr) to try by court martial
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
Word Origin and History for court martial
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper