ar·​my | \ ˈär-mē \
plural armies

Definition of army

1a : a large organized body of armed personnel trained for war especially on land
b : a unit capable of independent action and consisting usually of a headquarters, two or more corps, and auxiliary troops
c often capitalized : the complete military organization of a nation for land warfare
2 : a great multitude an army of birds
3 : a body of persons organized to advance a cause

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Synonyms for army


array, battalion, host, legion

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Examples of army in a Sentence

the armies of Alexander the Great He left home and joined the army after he graduated from high school. The company employs an army of lawyers to handle its legal affairs. They sent in a whole army of trained technicians. The organization was founded by a dedicated army of volunteers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That everyone was in the army or everybody was in something. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 The panel isn't offering advice to Fischer about what to do with the 105-year-old statue of Castleman, who served in the Confederate army under John Hunt Morgan, the notorious leader of Morgan's Raiders. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Mayor should yank statue of ex-Confederate soldier, councilman says," 2 July 2018 After a three year stint in the army during World War II, Lanza continued his opera career as part of the Bel Canto Trio with singers George London and Francis Yeend. Nick Vadala,, "Opera singer Mario Lanza's childhood home demolished in South Philly," 29 June 2018 Both Shaidayi and Hamahang — each around 20 at the time — were still in the army when the war started in 1979. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 An anonymous tip to DOC led to the discovery of his criminal conduct and prison sentence while in the army. David Owens,, "Former Correction Officer, Army Reservist Avoids Prison For Stealing From State," 26 June 2018 The main character in the story is a sergeant in the army during World War II, a man who’s incredibly lonely and isolated. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, "What J.D. Salinger Understood About Missed Connections," 19 June 2018 Some of the people Amnesty spoke to described being severely beaten with sticks, hammers and while blindfolded by soldiers in the Cameroon army. Stephanie Busari, CNN, "Cameroon security forces torturing English speakers, Amnesty says," 11 June 2018 Macías has two uncles who fought in the revolution and Artola's mother comes from a family once heavily involved in the Sandinista army. Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "Nicaragua university students under attack as they lead political uprising against Ortega," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'army.' 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 army

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for army

Middle English armee, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin armata — more at armada

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Statistics for army

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for army

The first known use of army was circa 1522

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More Definitions for army



English Language Learners Definition of army

: a large group of soldiers organized to fight battles on land

: the part of a country's military forces that includes soldiers who are trained to fight on land

: a large number of people or things that are involved in some activity together


ar·​my | \ ˈär-mē \
plural armies

Kids Definition of army

1 : a large body of soldiers trained for land warfare
2 often capitalized : the complete military organization of a nation for land warfare
3 : a great number of people or things an army of volunteers

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More from Merriam-Webster on army

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with army

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for army

Spanish Central: Translation of army

Nglish: Translation of army for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of army for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about army

Comments on army

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


a complex dispute or argument

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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