de·​mil·​i·​ta·​rize (ˌ)dē-ˈmi-lə-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce demilitarize (audio)
demilitarized; demilitarizing; demilitarizes

transitive verb

: to do away with the military organization or potential of
: to prohibit (something, such as a zone or frontier area) from being used for military purposes
: to rid of military characteristics or uses
demilitarization noun

Examples of demilitarize in a Sentence

the two nations agreed to demilitarize themselves reciprocally in hopes of avoiding war
Recent Examples on the Web At the end of the war, Hamas should be totally disarmed and the Gaza Strip should be demilitarized, so that Palestinian civilians could live dignified lives within the Gaza Strip, and Israeli civilians could live without fear alongside the Gaza Strip. TIME, 16 Oct. 2023 Israelis across the political spectrum now believe that Hamas must be destroyed as a military power and that Gaza must be demilitarized. Dennis Ross, Foreign Affairs, 11 Oct. 2023 The head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, said Moscow’s plan to demilitarize Ukraine is not working. Alex Horton, Washington Post, 24 May 2023 But in a surprising about-face, shortly after assuming office, López Obrador started to backtrack on his vow to demilitarize the country. Denise Dresser, Foreign Affairs, 21 Oct. 2022 But Breda, the expert, said the move is inching the country away from policies such as stamping out corruption, demilitarizing and community policing that could make a longterm difference in addressing the roots causes of gang violence. Time, 19 July 2023 On the home front, the state council would begin to demilitarize Russia, reducing the size of the armed forces and by extension the cost of their maintenance. Garry Kasparov, Foreign Affairs, 20 Jan. 2023 Look, all Ukraine should be demilitarized from Russian military. CBS News, 9 July 2023 Negotiations to demilitarize the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which the Kremlin’s forces captured last year at the start of the full-scale invasion, are at an impasse. Chicago Tribune, 8 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'demilitarize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of demilitarize was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near demilitarize

Cite this Entry

“Demilitarize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​mil·​i·​ta·​rize (ˈ)dē-ˈmil-ə-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce demilitarize (audio)
: to strip of military forces, weapons, or fortification
a demilitarized zone

More from Merriam-Webster on demilitarize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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