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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 marksmanship
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he could walk again he would learn to shoot, so that the range stock wouldn't suffer from his marksmanship.

    The Lure of the Dim Trails by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower
  • The number of these, considering the darkness of the night, did credit to American marksmanship.

    Bamboo Tales Ira L. Reeves
  • Occasionally he performed feats of marksmanship which not even the two redoubtable leaders could equal.

    A Son of the City Herman Gastrell Seely
  • Our navy had no idea how low our standard of marksmanship was.

  • Besides his marksmanship the Kid had another attribute for which he admired himself greatly.

  • Trevison was wide awake now, and his marksmanship as deadly as ever.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • His bravery, patriotism, marksmanship, and endurance could not avail.

    Fetichism in West Africa Robert Hamill Nassau
  • American determination and American marksmanship had saved three American lives.

  • Does that letter set forth the marksmanship practice which Mr. Oswald had in the Marine Corps?

    Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
British Dictionary definitions for marksmanship


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 marksmanship

1823, from marksman + -ship.



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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