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 garrison (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 According to social media accounts connected to Pentland, he has been stationed at Fort Jackson since 2019 and has worked as a drill sergeant at the garrison. Meg Kinnard, USA TODAY, "Soldier who pushed a Black man, told him 'you're in the wrong neighborhood,' in video charged with assault," 15 Apr. 2021 Once the dust from the war settled, Mackinac Island remained home to Fort Mackinac, a military garrison. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "You Can Still Visit These Six Former National Parks," 22 Mar. 2021 And Washington and his 2,400 soldiers would cross at McConkey’s and Johnson’s ferries, roughly 10 miles north of Trenton and would then march down to Trenton to surprise the garrison at dawn. James Freeman, WSJ, "Christmases Past and Future," 24 Dec. 2020 Argentina invaded the Falklands on April 2, 1982, quickly overwhelming the small Royal Marine Commando garrison stationed on the island. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What Really Happened in the Falklands War," 4 Dec. 2020 Argentina, unable to defend a military garrison 400 miles away from a force that had traveled 8,000 miles, suffered a humiliating loss, soon resulting in the collapse of the military government. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What Really Happened in the Falklands War," 4 Dec. 2020 At the time, the Alamo garrison was equipped with 24 cannons, including 18 that were mounted and ready to fire. Scott Huddleston,, "New surprises surround Alamo’s famed ‘18-pounder’ cannon that fired a hot round in response to Santa Anna’s demand for surrender," 29 Nov. 2020 At the start of the series, the military is divided into a corrupt, self-serving police force, a garrison that often drinks on the job, and a scout corps that has never succeeded in its mission to take territory beyond the Walls. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Why Attack on Titan Is the Alt-Right’s Favorite Manga," 16 Nov. 2020 At the other end of his kingdom was rebellious Marseille, reduced in person by the young king to trembling obedience and kept in that state by a garrison of 6,000 and two new forts. Tim Blanning, WSJ, "‘King of the World’ Review: Solar Power," 16 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chinese troops have been garrisoned in Hong Kong since its handover to Chinese rule in 1997, but the PLA has historically kept a very low profile. James Griffiths, CNN, "China's military promises to uphold 'national sovereignty' as more Hong Kong protests expected," 26 May 2020 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about garrison

Time Traveler for garrison

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for garrison

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Garrison.” 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 garrison



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on garrison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for garrison

Nglish: Translation of garrison for Spanish Speakers

Comments on garrison

What made you want to look up garrison? 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!