bat·​tal·​ion | \ bə-ˈtal-yən How to pronounce battalion (audio) \

Definition of battalion

1 : a considerable body of troops organized to act together : army
2 : a military unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies, batteries, or similar units
3 : a large group

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Synonyms for battalion


army, array, host, legion

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Examples of battalion in a Sentence

a battalion of angry protesters the nation's battalions were forced to fight on two fronts simultaneously

Recent Examples on the Web

The channel charts the combat effectiveness of the various tank battalions equipped with Tiger, comparing wartime and total losses versus the number of enemy tanks destroyed. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Was the Famous German Tiger Tank Really That Great?," 20 Dec. 2018 Israel also destroyed several Hamas attack tunnels, as well as factories involved in the production of the incendiary kites and balloons, and a Hamas battalion headquarters in northern Gaza. Fox News, "Cease-fire appears to hold after barrage of Israel-Hamas airstrikes," 16 July 2018 Hundreds of volunteers and military clogged the mountain roads to the cave, an ad-hoc battalion of experts and adventurers from around the world. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Instead, he was shipped overseas as a corporal with an all-black battalion at a time when racial discrimination in the military derailed the dreams and careers of a generation of African-American soldiers. Rachel L. Swarns, New York Times, "At 98, the Army Just Made Him an Officer: A Tale of Racial Bias in World War II," 29 June 2018 Over the next several years, Healy commanded several battalions in Vietnam. Graydon Megan,, "Retired Maj. Gen. Michael Healy, Green Beret and decorated veteran of Korea, Vietnam, dies at 91," 24 Apr. 2018 Officials have said that US military advisers have only just started to advise Afghan forces at the battalion level, something that was seen a a key part of the Trump administration's strategy for Afghanistan and the wider region. Ryan Browne, CNN, "US troops help repel major Taliban attack in Afghanistan," 16 May 2018 Davy Crocketts were issued at the battalion level in Germany and Korea, meaning every mechanized battle group had their own Davy Crocketts to defend their sector against Soviet, Chinese, or North Korean tanks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Time Bobby Kennedy Watched the Smallest Nuclear Explosion Ever," 2 May 2016 That's when Ada County Paramedic battalion chief Linda Scopelliti happened by. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "A bull goes roaming in Meridian. Here's how he made his way home.," 15 May 2018

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

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for battalion

Middle French bataillon, from Old Italian battaglione, augmentative of battaglia company of soldiers, battle, from Late Latin battalia combat — more at battle

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for battalion

The first known use of battalion was in 1579

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English Language Learners Definition of battalion

: a large organized group of soldiers
: a large organized group of people who act together


bat·​tal·​ion | \ bə-ˈtal-yən How to pronounce battalion (audio) \

Kids Definition of battalion

: a part of an army consisting of two or more companies

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Comments on battalion

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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