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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
1645-55; mark1 + 's1 + -man
Related forms
marksmanship, noun
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for marksman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides, it was not necessary for a marksman like Murray to get so very near.

    The Talking Leaves William O. Stoddard
  • What a target for a while he would be for every marksman at any range to shoot at!

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • This excellent example of shooting had the effect of ringing a bell denoting the triumph of the marksman.

  • "You might hit me," said Ebenezer, who knew nothing of Tom's skill as a marksman.

    The Young Miner Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • Fired again and missed, but the third time the bladder collapsed and sank, and my reputation as a marksman was made.

    Nat the Naturalist G. Manville Fenn
  • The marksman had been Tucker, the fellow hired to take the great scout's life.

    The Boy Land Boomer Ralph Bonehill
  • On this trip his frontier training and skill as a marksman were the means of saving a life.

    Last of the Great Scouts Helen Cody Wetmore
  • Apparently the diversion had no effect on the marksman within.

    Laramie Holds the Range Frank H. Spearman
British Dictionary definitions for marksman


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 marksman

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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