verb (used with object), mar·shaled, mar·shal·ing or (especially British) mar·shalled, mar·shal·ling.

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
Related formsmar·shal·cy, mar·shal·ship, nounmar·shal·er; especially British, mar·shal·ler, nounre·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, nounun·der·mar·shal, nounun·mar·shaled, adjectiveun·mar·shalled, adjective
Can be confusedmarshal marital martial

Synonyms for marshal

Synonym study

9. See gather.

Antonyms for marshal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for marshaling

Contemporary Examples of marshaling

  • If marshaling the troops is the goal, then Fat Studies still has a long way to go.

    The Daily Beast logo
    'Fat Studies' Go to College

    Eve Binder

    November 3, 2010

  • He could even try something as audacious as marshaling a global coalition to impose peace on Israel and the Palestinians.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Deadbeat Diplomacy

    Stephen Kinzer

    May 8, 2010

Historical Examples of marshaling

  • Mrs. Tidditt brought up the rear, marshaling the stragglers, as it were.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He paused, marshaling his thoughts, then went on, with a tinge of anger in his voice.

    Damned If You Don't

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Dawn is breaking, and the captains are marshaling the hosts for the onset!

    The Hour of the Dragon

    Robert E. Howard

  • It became a half human thing and seemed to be marshaling the other clouds.

    Poor White

    Sherwood Anderson

  • They are men who have an aptitude for marshaling their fellow men.

    The Young Man and the World

    Albert J. Beveridge

British Dictionary definitions for marshaling



(in some armies and air forces) an officer of the highest rank
(in England) an officer, usually a junior barrister, who accompanies a judge on circuit and performs miscellaneous secretarial duties
(in the US)
  1. a Federal court officer assigned to a judicial district whose functions are similar to those of a sheriff
  2. (in some states) the chief police or fire officer
an officer who organizes or conducts ceremonies, parades, etc
Also called: knight marshal (formerly in England) an officer of the royal family or court, esp one in charge of protocol
an obsolete word for ostler

verb -shals, -shalling or -shalled or US -shals, -shaling or -shaled (tr)

to arrange in orderto marshal the facts
to assemble and organize (troops, vehicles, etc) prior to onward movement
to arrange (assets, mortgages, etc) in order of priority
to guide or lead, esp in a ceremonious way
to combine (two or more coats of arms) on one shield
Derived Formsmarshalcy or marshalship, nounmarshaller or US marshaler, noun

Word Origin for marshal

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



early 15c., "to tend (horses)," from marshal (n.). Meaning "to arrange, place in order" is from mid-15c.; that of "to arrange for fighting" is from mid-15c. Figurative use by 1690s. Related: Marshaled; marshaling.



early 13c. as a surname; mid-13c. as "high officer of the royal court;" from Old French mareschal "commanding officer of an army; officer in charge of a household" (Modern French maréchal), originally "stable officer, horse tender, groom" (Frankish Latin mariscaluis) from Frankish *marhskalk or a similar Germanic word, literally "horse-servant" (cf. Old High German marahscalc "groom," Middle Dutch maerschalc), from Proto-Germanic *markhaz "horse" (see mare (1)) + *skalkaz "servant" (cf. Old English scealc "servant, retainer, member of a crew," Dutch schalk "rogue, wag," Gothic skalks "servant").

Cognate with Old English horsþegn. From c.1300 as "stable officer;" early 14c. as "military commander, general in the army." For development history, cf. constable. Also from Germanic are Italian scalco "steward," Spanish mariscal "marshal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper