armed forces

plural noun

Definition of armed forces

: the combined military, naval, and air forces of a nation

called also armed services

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Synonyms for armed forces


colors, military, service, troops

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Examples of armed forces in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Over the course of forty-seven minutes, Trump enumerated American military conquests and the branches of the U.S. armed forces. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s “Inoffensive” War on Reality," 5 July 2019 And while the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Congress has passed laws like the Posse Comitatus Act to constrain when and how those forces can be used on U.S. soil. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Tanks, But No Tanks," 4 July 2019 About 5,000 green-card holders join the armed forces each year. Bob Egelko,, "Federal court upholds Trump policy on extra screening for noncitizen military enlistees," 4 July 2019 Desert Shield/Desert Storm The last time tanks showed up in Washington was in June 1991 when tanks and other weapons were featured in a celebration of the U.S. armed forces' victory over Iraq in the operation known as Desert Storm. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, "'Tanks' a lot: Trump 4th of July celebration isn't first time armored vehicles have rumbled into Washington," 3 July 2019 Other posts promised to offer mobile applications that Libyan citizens could use to join the country’s armed forces. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Researchers crack open Facebook campaign that pushed malware for years," 2 July 2019 There's only really one enemy that Taiwan's armed forces are preparing to resist -- China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). Ben Westcott, CNN, "A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a bloody, logistical nightmare," 23 June 2019 American Veterans for Equal Rights: The organization works to ensure equitable treatment for current and former members of the United States armed forces, with a focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender members. Rachel Schnalzer,, "Suicide prevention resources," 20 June 2019 Congolese armed forces were carrying out operations to try to contain violence that had already engulfed three of Ituri province’s five districts, Mr. Baloch said. Nick Cumming-bruce, New York Times, "Hundreds of Thousands Flee Congo Violence, in Region Afflicted by Ebola," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'armed forces.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of armed forces

1625, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for armed forces

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for armed forces

The first known use of armed forces was in 1625

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More Definitions for armed forces

armed forces


English Language Learners Definition of armed forces

: the military organizations (such as the army, navy, and air force) of a country

armed forces

noun plural

Kids Definition of armed forces

: the military, naval, and air forces of a nation

More from Merriam-Webster on armed forces

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for armed forces

Nglish: Translation of armed forces for Spanish Speakers

Comments on armed forces

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


to complain fretfully

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