gar·​ri·​son | \ ˈger-ə-sən How to pronounce garrison (audio) , ˈga-rə- \

Definition of garrison

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a military post especially : a permanent military installation
2 : the troops stationed at a garrison


garrisoned; garrisoning\ ˈger-​ə-​s(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce garrisoning (audio) , ˈga-​rə-​ \

Definition of garrison (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to station troops in
2a : to assign as a garrison
b : to occupy with troops


biographical name
Gar·​ri·​son | \ ˈger-ə-sən How to pronounce Garrison (audio) , ˈga-rə-sən \

Definition of Garrison (Entry 3 of 3)

William Lloyd 1805–1879 American abolitionist

Examples of garrison in a Sentence

Noun a garrison of 5,000 men
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Financial Times said the U.S. military had placed its South Korea garrisons, which includes its largest army base outside America, in lockdown., "Germany Boosts Border Checks; Google Scraps Event: Virus Update," 5 May 2020 The health center’s pharmacy will be closed until March 24, the garrison commander said. Lee Roop |, al, "Redstone Arsenal Army employee has coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 One of his most notorious victories came at Fort Pillow, a Union garrison Forrest had decided to attack for supplies. 1843, "Confederacy in the ’hood," 2 Apr. 2020 Now the manor is required to provide an archer to defend the garrison at Calais, and Will agrees to go in exchange for his deed of freedom, to the disappointment of his fiancée, Ness, a farmer’s daughter, who wants to get married right away. Clair Wills, The New York Review of Books, "Love in Plague Time," 7 Jan. 2020 The Hong Kong garrison conducted a routine rotation in August, but unlike previously, there was no official announcement stating that the level of troops and equipment stationed in the city hadn’t changed, according to the South China Morning Post. Iain Marlow And Jeanny Yu | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "How Many Chinese Soldiers Are in Hong Kong and What Do They Do?," 19 Nov. 2019 By June 1942, the Army garrison alone numbered 122,000 men (i.e. not counting sailors or Marines), about one soldier for every four civilians. Richard B. Frank, Time, "How Hawaii's Japanese Population Was Spared Internment During World War II," 13 Mar. 2020 From the late 17th century, Russian fur traders, lured by the abundant sea otter, seal, mink, marmot, beaver, and bear populations, set up outposts defended by Russian garrisons. Harry Pearson, Condé Nast Traveler, "To Best Experience Alaska’s Burgeoning Local Food Movement, Go in Winter," 20 Dec. 2019 India rushed in thousands of troops, turning the idyll of Kashmir into a dystopian garrison overnight. Time, "Recollections of a Long Siege in Kashmir," 19 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Within four years, with Roosevelt now in the White House, American troops arrived to garrison the Isthmus of Panama, where the United States, employing considerable chicanery, was setting out to build a canal. Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's magazine, "The Old Normal," 2 Mar. 2020 The attacks have also spilled into Niger, a vast desert nation that Western powers have been garrisoning into one of the world’s most strategic security hubs. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "France to Deploy Extra Troops to Fight Extremists in Africa’s Sahel," 2 Feb. 2020 One way to make sure real estate changes hands in just one direction would be by garrisoning friendly territory with mobile anti-ship missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy and Marines Want a New Land-Based, Ship-Killing Missile," 19 Jan. 2020 According to the Telegraph’s Mike Wright, the fort likely served as a satellite of Isca Dumnoniorum, a military fortification garrisoned by 5,500 legionaries tasked with pacifying the fiercely resisting local populations in the region. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Construction Reveals Remnants of Roman Fort Below British Bus Station," 27 Sep. 2019 The Syrian troops garrisoned there were well-equipped and dug in. The Economist, "Bashar al-Assad’s ruinous campaign to retake Idlib from Syrian rebels," 6 June 2019 A few days later, past midnight, a dozen outgunned American ships, including Juneau, intercepted a Japanese armada approaching the island to bombard its critical airfield and the beleaguered U.S. Marines garrisoned there. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "The House is revolting," 25 May 2018 Brennan’s version of Moscow is Vershinin (a charismatic Chiké Johnson), commander of the troops garrisoned in town and quixotic seeker – in a play filled with them, each one given texture by Brown’s excellent ensemble – for the meaning of existence. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Three Sisters' yearn for a better life, against the odds," 14 Aug. 2017 A fortress built between the 11th and 14th century helped the friars withstand pirates, Saracen attacks and occupation by Spanish raiders, until Louis XIV garrisoned the island in the 1600s. Jennifer Ladonne, CNN, "Cannes day trips: The island retreats of Îles de Lérins," 24 May 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garrison


Middle English garisoun "wealth, gift, tribute, protection, fortified place, body of soldiers," borrowed from Anglo-French garisun "protection, cure, income, supplies," from garir "to support, protect, cure" (going back to Old Low Franconian *warjan "to defend, prevent," going back to Germanic *warjan-) + -isun, deverbal noun suffix, going back to Latin -ītiōn-, -ītiō, from -ī-, verb stem formative + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at weir

Note: The Middle English sense "fortified place, body of soldiers" reflects confusion with Middle English garnisoun and Anglo-French garnisun "fortified place, body of armed men stationed in such a place," from Anglo-French garnir "to give notice, equip, arm, fortify" (see garnish entry 1) + the same suffix seen in garisun.


derivative of garrison entry 1

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Time Traveler for garrison

Time Traveler

The first known use of garrison was in the 15th century

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Statistics for garrison

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Garrison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for garrison


How to pronounce Garrison (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of garrison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a military camp, fort, or base
: a group of soldiers who are living at a garrison



English Language Learners Definition of garrison (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send soldiers to (a place) in order to defend it
: to send (soldiers) to live in and defend a place


gar·​ri·​son | \ ˈger-ə-sən How to pronounce garrison (audio) \

Kids Definition of garrison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a military camp, fort, or base
2 : the soldiers stationed at a garrison


garrisoned; garrisoning

Kids Definition of garrison (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to station troops in The fort was only temporarily garrisoned.
2 : to send (troops) to live in and defend It became necessary to garrison troops in the town.

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More from Merriam-Webster on garrison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for garrison

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with garrison

Spanish Central: Translation of garrison

Nglish: Translation of garrison for Spanish Speakers

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