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marshal

[mahr-shuh l] /ˈmɑr ʃəl/
noun
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.
3.
a court officer serving processes, attending court, giving personal service to the judges, etc.
4.
the chief of a police or fire department in some cities.
5.
a police officer in some communities.
7.
a higher officer of a royal household or court.
8.
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), marshaled, marshaling or (especially British) marshalled, marshalling.
9.
to arrange in proper order; set out in an orderly manner; arrange clearly:
to marshal facts; to marshal one's arguments.
10.
to array, as for battle.
11.
to usher or lead ceremoniously:
Their host marshaled them into the room.
12.
Heraldry. to combine (two or more coats of arms) on a single escutcheon.
Origin
1225-1275
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 forms
marshalcy, marshalship, noun
marshaler; especially British, marshaller, noun
remarshal, verb (used with object), remarshaled, remarshaling or (especially British) remarshalled, remarshalling.
submarshal, noun
undermarshal, noun
unmarshaled, adjective
unmarshalled, adjective
Can be confused
marshal, marital, martial.
Synonyms
9. order, dispose; convoke. See gather.
Antonyms
9. scatter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marshal
  • Learn about the work first, and you can likely marshal the skills to do it.
  • And both can marshal strong arguments that they are better managed than their erstwhile peers.
  • Safe, on-street parking is available for a small fee paid either to an official parking marshal or unofficial minder.
  • The field marshal in charge of the rocket base looks on, while launch pad workers scurry in the upper left background.
  • The local fire marshal had decreed that no more than three people could occupy the studio at one time.
  • Maybe you've got mobs of people showing up to play games and you have to turn some away to keep the fire marshal happy.
  • Still, the new administration wants to be able to marshal its supporters to act.
  • But you want to make sure that you have that field marshal there to bring it all together.
  • But a wheel that shoots off his car doesn't stop until it mortally wounds a track marshal.
  • Clearly, they help to stimulate discussion and marshal action, and they let governments trawl for and test proposals.
British Dictionary definitions for marshal

marshal

/ˈmɑːʃəl/
noun
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
3.
(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
4.
an officer who organizes or conducts ceremonies, parades, etc
5.
Also called knight marshal. (formerly in England) an officer of the royal family or court, esp one in charge of protocol
6.
an obsolete word for ostler
verb (transitive) -shals, -shalling, -shalled (US) -shals, -shaling, -shaled
7.
to arrange in order: to marshal the facts
8.
to assemble and organize (troops, vehicles, etc) prior to onward movement
9.
to arrange (assets, mortgages, etc) in order of priority
10.
to guide or lead, esp in a ceremonious way
11.
to combine (two or more coats of arms) on one shield
Derived Forms
marshalcy, marshalship, noun
marshaller, (US) marshaler, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for marshal
n.

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."

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for marshal

field marshal

in some past and present armies, including those of Britain, France, Germany, Russia or the Soviet Union, and China, the highest ranking officer. The rank evolved from the title of marescalci (masters of the horse) of the early Frankish kings. The importance of cavalry in medieval warfare led to the marshalship being associated with a command position; this rank came to include the duties of keeping order at court and in camp and of deciding questions of chivalry. As a military leader the marshal was originally subordinate to the constable in the various states of western Europe. By the 13th century, however, the marshal was rapidly coming to prominence as a commander of the royal forces and a great officer of state

Learn more about field marshal with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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