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

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 The battalion — the 6888th, just over 800 women strong — did not have a particularly glamorous assignment. Neil Genzlinger,, "Millie Veasey, 100; served in World War II with trailblazing unit," 24 Mar. 2018 Order was restored when a National Guard battalion of 8,500 entered the town and placed Homestead under martial law. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 His battalion was attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force, the Defense Department said in a release. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Missing for 67 years, homecoming Saturday for Gary soldier," 21 June 2018 According to the US Department of Defense, Drake died during the Battle of Guadalcanal, and his body was believed to be buried atop a hill alongside two other Marines from his battalion. Emily Sweeney,, "Marine killed in World War II laid to rest in Springfield," 25 May 2018 There are no an armies, no battalions, no weapons, but my son continues on. Tina Chang, The Cut, "What Does Being Pregnant Feel Like? Part VI," 7 June 2018 Surrounded by a battalion of male dancers, all dressed in 1920s garb, JLo piruotted in wide white pants and a sparkly corsette that later gave way to a white zoot suit and matching hat. Leila Cobo, Billboard, "Jennifer Lopez & DJ Khaled Put on Dazzling Performance of 'Dinero' at the Billboard Music Awards," 20 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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Statistics for battalion

Last Updated

13 Oct 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).


not any or not one

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