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


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Examples of armed forces in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Chairman Adam Smith said the purpose of the hearing was to discuss the politicization of armed forces and when the military should be used in a civilian capacity. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "'Not engaged in clearing protesters': Esper and Milley say military did not clear Lafayette Park," 9 July 2020 The money now wasted on our bloated armed forces could be spent instead on programs that boost prosperity and reduce potential sources of crime and conflict. John Horgan, Scientific American, "Let's Defund the Pentagon, Too," 8 July 2020 Also on the list of 49 individuals and organizations is Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, and Myanmar army commander Soe Win. Fox News, "UK sanctions Russians, Saudis behind 'notorious human rights violations'," 7 July 2020 Experts said that China's push for a new navigation network was also driven by a desire to reduce its dependence on America's GPS, particularly in its armed forces. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China's GPS rival Beidou is now fully operational after final satellite launched," 24 June 2020 Today’s pandemic, unlike the earlier one, largely spares the young adults who fill the ranks of armed forces. The Economist, "Horsemen of the apocalypse Covid-19 raises the risks of violent conflict," 18 June 2020 The Space Force became the sixth branch of the armed forces in December when President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act. Andrea Leinfelder,, "More than 8,500 Air Force members volunteer to join the Space Force," 9 June 2020 Calling upon the armed forces to restore order is rare in a democracy. Kristina Mani, The Conversation, "Using the military to quash protests can erode democracy – as Latin America well knows," 8 June 2020 The soldiers had been removed from the armed forces, according to Colombia’s army chief, General Eduardo Zapateiro. Julie Turkewitz,, "Seven Colombian soldiers charged in rape of Indigenous girl," 26 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for armed forces

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The first known use of armed forces was in 1625

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Statistics for armed forces

Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Armed forces.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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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

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Nglish: Translation of armed forces for Spanish Speakers

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