1) n. a federal court official who may serve papers and act as a law enforcement officer in keeping order in court, protecting federal officials, making arrests or participating in court-ordered police activities. Each district court has a federal marshal and a corps of deputies. 2) n. in several states, a law enforcement officer, similar to a sheriff or constable, who serves official documents and occasionally assists in police matters. 3) v. to collect the assets of the estate of a person who has died. This is a function of an executor or administrator of an estate. Sometimes the executor or administrator may ask the court to allow the sale or division of gifts in order to achieve the distribution the testator (writer of a will) desired. This is part of the marshaling process. 4) v. in bankruptcy, to establish priorities among creditors.