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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for battalion


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Jeff McCausland, who commanded a Gulf War combat battalion and recently wrote about the military's failure to keep out extremists. Ashley Fantz, CNN, "The military has long had an extremism problem. What will it do now to finally solve it?," 31 Mar. 2021 Those units are typically built around a Marine infantry battalion, Navy amphibious ships, helicopters, F-35B fighters and artillery and deployable to hotspots around the world, capable of operating at sea, in the air and on land. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Marines put new amphibious vehicle through its paces as scathing report shows need for it," 27 Mar. 2021 Brown became a battalion surgeon near the front lines and later served at an Army hospital in Tokyo. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Bobby Brown, Yankee Infielder Turned Cardiologist, Is Dead at 96," 25 Mar. 2021 As Rudling recounts, the battalion’s leader, Erich Körner, dispatched his men, as well as reinforcements from the Dirlewanger Brigade, a German unit known for its brutality, to Khatyn. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Remembering the Khatyn Massacre," 22 Mar. 2021 An ambulance took the wounded man to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Michael Kane, fire rescue battalion chief. David Lyons,, "Man killed in shooting aboard Broward Transit bus," 21 Mar. 2021 The group was given Delta Force, a SEAL team, and a rotating Ranger battalion for specific missions. Mark Bowden, The Atlantic, "How Special Ops Became the Solution to Everything," 12 Mar. 2021 Then a battalion-sized reserve unit of 300 soldiers can be immediately called up. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, "Minnesota National Guard 'ready' to keep peace for Derek Chauvin trial," 9 Mar. 2021 Kourtney Redmond, president of the 761st Gun Club — named after a distinguished World War II tank battalion comprised of Black soldiers — said the disparities extend all the way to finding a place to practice marksmanship. John Keilman,, "Faced with rising crime and social upheaval, more Black Chicagoans are seeking out firearms for their own protection," 1 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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 entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about battalion

Time Traveler for battalion

Time Traveler

The first known use of battalion was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Statistics for battalion

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Battalion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for battalion



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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!