mil·​i·​ta·​rize | \ ˈmi-lə-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce militarize (audio) \
militarized; militarizing

Definition of militarize

transitive verb

1 : to give a military character to
2 : to equip with military forces and defenses
3 : to adapt for military use

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Other Words from militarize

militarization \ ˌmi-​lə-​t(ə-​)rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce militarization (audio) \ noun

Examples of militarize in a Sentence

militarize a country's foreign policy
Recent Examples on the Web The logic of sustainable development—meeting the global demand for resources by opening up the forest to extractive industries while offsetting the damage with militarized protected areas—completely escapes them. Jerome Lewis, Scientific American, "How Sustainable Development Ravaged the Congo Basin," 26 Apr. 2020 But that was the late 1960s—today, with police militarized like never before, and Punisher skulls plastered on more than a few patrol cars nationwide, the original name might be welcomed. Patrick Blanchfield, The New Republic, "The poisonous contradictions of coptalk," 31 Mar. 2020 New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said the one-mile radius will not be militarized or have checkpoints. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "Schools close, National Guard deployed to help New York suburb stem spread of coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 China claims almost the entire sea as its sovereign territory, and has spent recent years militarizing and building up sandbars and islets across the region. James Griffiths, CNN, "China can shut off the Philippines' power grid at any time, leaked report warns," 25 Nov. 2019 Let’s remember: Communist China steals our jobs, technology and intellectual property, is militarizing the South China Sea, intentionally selling fentanyl to the U.S. and is one of the world’s worst human-rights violators. WSJ, "Peace Corps in China Gave No Value for U.S.," 30 Jan. 2020 The region is one of the most heavily militarized in the world, patrolled by soldiers and paramilitary police. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pakistan PM warns of ‘bloodbath’ in Kashmir; India PM silent," 27 Sep. 2019 Not so lucky Not all swatting victims are so fortunate, as US police are heavily armed, increasingly all-out militarized, and often all too willing to fire. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "$3 million Fortnite winner—and his parents—become latest swatting targets," 12 Aug. 2019 Hutchison said the biggest risk out there was currently Russia, with a militarizing China presenting a potential threat as well. David Meyer, Fortune, "U.S. Has Ukraine’s Back, NATO Ambassador Claims as Impeachment Battle Rages in Washington," 18 Nov. 2019

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

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for militarize

Time Traveler

The first known use of militarize was in 1856

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Statistics for militarize

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Militarize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for militarize


How to pronounce militarize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of militarize

: to put weapons and military forces in (an area)
: to give a military quality or character to (something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on militarize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for militarize

Spanish Central: Translation of militarize

Britannica English: Translation of militarize for Arabic Speakers

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