a court-martial held, usually on a battlefield, for the summary trial of charges of offenses committed during military operations.
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Marshal vs. Martial
While 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 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. 2019
a military court convened to hear urgent charges of offences committed in action
Word Origin for drumhead court-martial
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