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

The armed forces dominate the gold trade and the government has shown no political will to contain the devastation of pristine areas, the report said. Kejal Vyas |, WSJ, "Desperate Venezuelans Dig Up Paradise in Search of Gold," 20 Nov. 2018 During this time, millions of Koreans suffered under military rule, forced labor, and forced conscription into Japan’s armed forces. Alex Ward, Vox, "BTS, world’s biggest K-pop band, was dropped from Japanese TV over a nuclear bomb T-shirt," 9 Nov. 2018 Female soldiers are more likely than men to experience isolation, as women make up only 16 percent of the armed forces. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 On the ground in Syria, armed forces liberated Eastern Ghouta after driving out the remaining armed groups from Douma, the Al Mayadeen television network reported, citing a statement by the Syrian Army. Andrew J Barden,, "Taking Stock of the U.S.-Led Missile Strikes on Syria: Q&A," 14 Apr. 2018 America spends more than 3% of the world’s biggest GDP on its armed forces, and the rest of the Western world scarcely breaks 2%. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 Mr Sharif’s return snuffs out any hope of a reconciliation between the PML-N and the armed forces. The Economist, "Pakistan’s former prime minister embraces jail to rally his party," 12 July 2018 Military officers decided a few months ago to place trucks from the armed forces along main routes to help passengers move around for free. Gustavo Ocando Alex, miamiherald, "With little public transportation, Venezuelans resort to dangerous, illegal ‘kennels’ to get around," 12 July 2018 Members of the armed forces must be eligible for and able to complete four additional years of service in order to have their transfer approved. Andrew Dyer,, "Pentagon announces changes to Post-9/11 GI Bill," 12 July 2018

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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Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

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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

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