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 militarize (audio) \ noun

Examples of militarize in a Sentence

militarize a country's foreign policy
Recent Examples on the Web The booming economy has allowed Mr. Xi to militarize capitalism and make China the second largest economy in the world. WSJ, "Matt Pottinger on China and U.S. Business," 31 Mar. 2021 Many are calling for Congress and the Pentagon to more tightly align their parochial interests to further militarize the space business with ever more expensive, bespoke death star satellites. Charles Beames, Forbes, "The Sky Is Not Falling: It’s Time To Learn The Right Lesson Of Pearl Harbor," 26 Feb. 2021 In its continuing war of words with Beijing, the State Department accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of breaking his promise not to militarize islands in the South China Sea. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "US threatens to close embassy in Baghdad if Iraq can’t protect American personnel: Report," 28 Sep. 2020 Former Vice President Joe Biden and others accuse Trump of trying to militarize the streets of America. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Rubber bullets? Tear gas? In Texas, most Republicans OK putting down protests by force; most Dems don’t support the tacticsThis article has comments enabled.," 7 Sep. 2020 Thompson also says Washington wants to contrast its word to that of Xi, who, for instance, said China would not militarize the South China Sea then built fortified islands there. Brad Lendon, CNN, "The US is standing firm with Taiwan, and it's making that point very clear," 2 Sep. 2020 To that end, their characters are based not on history, but on a creation of nationalist rhetoric employed to militarize a nation that proceeded to invade many of its neighbors in the late 19th and mid-20th century. Reid Mccarter, Washington Post, "Like ‘Ghost of Tsushima’? Here’s what you may not know about samurai.," 14 Aug. 2020 Matter Cleveland and community members rallied on the Fourth of July in an effort to de-fund Cleveland police, abolish the Blue Lives Matter movement and de-militarize the police force. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Did Gov. DeWine find a brilliant legal strategy in ceding control of coronavirus regulations to local governments? This Week in the CLE," 6 July 2020 Matter Cleveland and community members came together Saturday afternoon to rally in an effort to de-fund Cleveland police, abolish the Blue Lives Matter movement and de-militarize the police force. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Black Lives Matter Cleveland holds rally to defund police, push petitions to de-militarize police," 4 July 2020

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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Militarize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for militarize



English Language Learners Definition of militarize

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

More from Merriam-Webster on militarize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for militarize

Britannica English: Translation of militarize for Arabic Speakers

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