Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

paramilitary

play
adjective para·mil·i·tary \ˌpa-rə-ˈmi-lə-ˌter-ē\

Simple Definition of paramilitary

  • : of or relating to a group that is not an official army but that operates and is organized like an army

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of paramilitary

  1. :  of, relating to, being, or characteristic of a force formed on a military pattern especially as a potential auxiliary military force <a paramilitary border patrol> <paramilitary training>

paramilitary

noun

Examples of paramilitary in a sentence

  1. Government forces have been attacked by heavily armed paramilitary groups in several villages.



Did You Know?

This term paramilitary can take in a wide range of organizations, but is usually applied to forces formed by a government. Groups opposing a government, even when organized along military lines, are more often referred to as guerrillas or insurgents. In countries with weak central governments (such as, in recent times, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, or Congo), warlords may form their own paramilitary forces and take over all local police and military functions. Paramilitary often has a sinister sound today, since it's also applied to groups of off-duty military or police personnel who carry out illegal violence, often at night, with the quiet support of a government.

1935

First Known Use of paramilitary

1935



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up paramilitary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make consistent or congruous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate accommodate acommadate acommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ