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
Full Definition of paramilitary
: 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>
Examples of paramilitary in a sentence
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.
First Known Use of paramilitary
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