mil·​i·​ta·​rism | \ ˈmi-lə-tə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce militarism (audio) \

Definition of militarism

1a : predominance of the military class or its ideals
b : exaltation of military virtues and ideals
2 : a policy of aggressive military preparedness

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from militarism

militarist \ ˈmi-​lə-​tə-​rist How to pronounce militarist (audio) \ noun or adjective
militaristic \ ˌmi-​lə-​tə-​ˈri-​stik How to pronounce militaristic (audio) \ adjective
militaristically \ ˌmi-​lə-​tə-​ˈri-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce militaristically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of militarism in a Sentence

The administration has been criticized for the militarism of its foreign policy.
Recent Examples on the Web The new philosophy was crystallized in an essay written by the Harvard University philosopher and psychologist William James, who had become alarmed at the U.S.'s escalating militarism. NBC News, "'The Big Burn' of 1910 transformed wildland firefighting. Will 2020 do the same?," 11 Oct. 2020 Sports delivers powerful ideological messages on issues ranging from economic inequality to militarism to traditional gender roles. Michael Serazio, The Conversation, "The numbers behind America’s 180 on athlete activism," 15 Sep. 2020 His samurai characters weren’t historically accurate, but their semi-mythological status was used as a historical archetype that could be reclaimed for purposes other than militarism. Reid Mccarter, Washington Post, "Like ‘Ghost of Tsushima’? Here’s what you may not know about samurai.," 14 Aug. 2020 That militarism appeared to seep into those around him last week. The Economist, "No longer his generals America’s top brass break with Donald Trump," 7 June 2020 The overwhelming chorus of outrage, as well as the unprecedented militarism of the government’s response, have formed a reality few Americans have witnessed before. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "George Floyd memorial service brings Americans together in mourning, outrage like never before," 5 June 2020 The report found evidence of rising militarism among followers of QAnon, which once spoke cryptically of shadowy forces within the federal government. Anchorage Daily News, "Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying guns add a volatile new element to protests," 3 June 2020 But in 1940, as militarism and xenophobia were haunting the world, seven Catholic villagers in remote northeastern Thailand were executed for refusing to renounce their religion. Washington Post, "Tolerant Thailand to welcome pope, but martyrs tale haunts," 18 Nov. 2019 And Veterans for Peace, along with About Face: Veterans Against the War, remain outspoken against America’s militarism and participation in wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. Michael Messner,, "Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America’s wars," 8 Nov. 2019

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

1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about militarism

Time Traveler for militarism

Time Traveler

The first known use of militarism was in 1863

See more words from the same year

Statistics for militarism

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Militarism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for militarism


How to pronounce militarism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of militarism

: the opinions or actions of people who believe that a country should use military methods, forces, etc., to gain power and to achieve its goals

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on militarism

What made you want to look up militarism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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