[ mahr-shuhl ]
See synonyms for marshal on
  1. a military officer of the highest rank, as in the French and some other armies.: Compare field marshal.

  2. an administrative officer of a U.S. judicial district who performs duties similar to those of a sheriff.

  1. a court officer serving processes, attending court, giving personal service to the judges, etc.

  2. the chief of a police or fire department in some cities.

  3. a police officer in some communities.

  4. a higher officer of a royal household or court.

  5. an official charged with the arrangement or regulation of ceremonies, parades, etc.: the marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade.

verb (used with object),mar·shaled, mar·shal·ing or (especially British) mar·shalled, mar·shal·ling.
  1. to arrange in proper order; set out in an orderly manner; arrange clearly: to marshal facts; to marshal one's arguments.

  2. to array, as for battle.

  1. to usher or lead ceremoniously: Their host marshaled them into the room.

  2. Heraldry. to combine (two or more coats of arms) on a single escutcheon.

Origin of marshal

1225–75; Middle English marshal, syncopated variant of mareschal<Old French <Germanic; compare Old High German marahscalh groom, equivalent to marah horse (see mare1) + scalh servant, cognate with Old English scealc

synonym study For marshal

9. See gather.

Other words for marshal

Opposites for marshal

Other words from marshal

  • mar·shal·cy, mar·shal·ship, noun
  • mar·shal·er; especially British, mar·shal·ler, noun
  • re·mar·shal, verb (used with object), re·mar·shaled, re·mar·shal·ing or (especially British) re·mar·shalled, re·mar·shal·ling.
  • sub·mar·shal, noun
  • un·der·mar·shal, noun
  • un·mar·shaled, adjective
  • un·mar·shalled, adjective

Words that may be confused with marshal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use marshal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for marshal


/ (ˈmɑːʃəl) /

  1. (in some armies and air forces) an officer of the highest rank

  2. (in England) an officer, usually a junior barrister, who accompanies a judge on circuit and performs miscellaneous secretarial duties

  1. (in the US)

    • a Federal court officer assigned to a judicial district whose functions are similar to those of a sheriff

    • (in some states) the chief police or fire officer

  2. an officer who organizes or conducts ceremonies, parades, etc

  3. Also called: knight marshal (formerly in England) an officer of the royal family or court, esp one in charge of protocol

  4. an obsolete word for ostler

verb-shals, -shalling or -shalled or US -shals, -shaling or -shaled (tr)
  1. to arrange in order: to marshal the facts

  2. to assemble and organize (troops, vehicles, etc) prior to onward movement

  1. to arrange (assets, mortgages, etc) in order of priority

  2. to guide or lead, esp in a ceremonious way

  3. to combine (two or more coats of arms) on one shield

Origin of marshal

C13: from Old French mareschal; related to Old High German marahscalc groom, from marah horse + scalc servant

Derived forms of marshal

  • marshalcy or marshalship, noun
  • marshaller or US marshaler, noun

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