bat·​tal·​ion | \bə-ˈtal-yən \

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

That included Uptgraft's husband, a battalion commander, now on his fifth deployment. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "With her husband deployed in Afghanistan, this woman is opening a play in Anchorage to give voice to military spouses," 11 May 2018 So three different battalions were represented in a five-man patrol. Carl Prine,, "His valor forgotten for a half-century, Marine killed in action to receive battlefield award," 23 Apr. 2018 Misty Posey, commander of the 4th recruit training battalion. Jim Michaels, USA TODAY, "Women prove they're up to the challenge of Marine Corps rigorous boot camp," 7 Feb. 2018 Ben Reisz is a retired Army colonel who commanded an Army Sentry Dog company, the 595th company which was part of the 504th MP battalion in Vietnam. Kyle Ringo, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial built with thousands of small contributions," 27 May 2018 The investigators have received names of individual perpetrators and the identities of specific battalions allegedly involved, this person said. NBC News, "U.S. investigates alleged atrocities committed against Myanmar's Rohingya," 25 Apr. 2018 But activists such as Oles Kromplyas, a photographer who fought in the east with the Azov far-right volunteer battalion, are trying to refocus people’s attention. David L. Stern, Washington Post, "War in eastern Ukraine now seems a distant storm to Kiev," 26 June 2018 In the winter of 1945, with German forces reeling, he was transferred to land warfare and became a battalion commander. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Reinhard Hardegen, Who Led U-Boats to America’s Shore, Dies at 105," 17 June 2018 If France, Germany, and the UK can each chip in three battalions, that adds up to 18. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "America Pitches Its Potential Defense Plan for Europe," 7 June 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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Statistics for battalion

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for battalion

The first known use of battalion was in 1579

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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 \

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).


living or existing for a long time

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