A court-martial is a special legal trial for members of the military. When someone in the armed forces is accused of a crime, they are usually subject to court-martial.

Court-martial is the official name of a military court, or for a trial within that kind of court. Active military members are subject to a separate set of laws from civilians, and part of that military legal process involves facing a judge in a court-martial. Criminal offenses like theft and assault are tried this way, as are military-specific crimes like desertion. Martial means "pertaining to war."

Definitions of court-martial
  1. noun
    a military court to try members of the armed services who are accused of serious breaches of martial law
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    drumhead court-martial
    a military court convened to hear urgent charges of offenses committed in action
    special court-martial
    a court-martial to try soldiers for offenses less serious that than those committed in action; consists of at least three officers
    type of:
    military court
    a judicial court of commissioned officers for the discipline and punishment of military personnel
  2. noun
    a trial that is conducted by a military court
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    type of:
    (law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law
  3. verb
    subject to trial by court-martial
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    type of:
    adjudicate, judge, try
    put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
Word Family

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