Martial law
Martial Mar"tial, a. [F., fr. L. martialis of or belonging to Mars, the god of war. Cf. {March} the month.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of, pertaining to, or suited for, war; military; as, martial music; a martial appearance. ``Martial equipage.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Practiced in, or inclined to, war; warlike; brave. [1913 Webster]

But peaceful kings, o'er martial people set, Each other's poise and counterbalance are. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. Belonging to war, or to an army and navy; -- opposed to {civil}; as, martial law; a court-martial. [1913 Webster]

4. Pertaining to, or resembling, the god, or the planet, Mars. --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster]

5. (Old Chem. & Old Med.) Pertaining to, or containing, iron; chalybeate; as, martial preparations. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

{Martial flowers} (Med.), a reddish crystalline salt of iron; the ammonio-chloride of iron. [Obs.]

{Martial law}, the law administered by the military power of a government when it has superseded the civil authority in time of war, or when the civil authorities are unable to enforce the laws. It is distinguished from military law, the latter being the code of rules for the regulation of the army and navy alone, either in peace or in war. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Martial}, {Warlike}.

Usage: Martial refers more to war in action, its array, its attendants, etc.; as, martial music, a martial appearance, a martial array, courts-martial, etc. Warlike describes the feeling or temper which leads to war, and the adjuncts of war; as, a warlike nation, warlike indication, etc. The two words are often used without discrimination. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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