mil·​i·​tary | \ ˈmi-lə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce military (audio) \

Definition of military

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to soldiers, arms, or war military discipline the country's military needs
b : of or relating to armed forces especially : of or relating to ground or sometimes ground and air forces as opposed to naval forces military and naval affairs
2a : performed or made by armed forces military operations
b : supported by armed force a military government
3 : of or relating to the army the military academy at West Point


plural military also militaries

Definition of military (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : military persons especially : army officers

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Synonyms & Antonyms for military

Synonyms: Adjective

martial, service

Synonyms: Noun

armed forces, colors, service, troops

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of military in a Sentence


He is being tried in a military court rather than in a civilian court. He has had a long military career.


There were many military present but only a few civilians. some would insist that the military's budget is still inadequate
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Iraq war in particular was seen as futile, suggesting that public sentiment is in line with the conclusion of US military strategists who say the biggest beneficiary of the 2003 invasion was Iran. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Two-thirds of veterans say the Iraq war wasn’t worth fighting," 10 July 2019 But as the Nazi war machine ramped up, the project was tabled as the factory intended for car production was converted to make military vehicles instead. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Volkswagen Beetle Says Auf Wiedersehen," 10 July 2019 Some teens strive to build a democracy, others push for a dictatorship or a military state. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Netflix renews The Society for season 2, because that cliffhanger needs answers," 9 July 2019 The astronauts of the 1950s and 1960s were all men, a natural result of the requirements for astronauts to have a military and test-piloting background. Wendy Whitman Cobb, The Conversation, "Women are less supportive of space exploration – getting a woman on the Moon might change that," 9 July 2019 Louisiana didn’t have a federal prison for women, so authorities sentenced Metz to FCI Dublin, a converted military barrack 35 miles east of San Francisco. Casey Parks, USA Today, "'You don't know what you did for me': Released from prison by Obama, now on the dean's list," 8 July 2019 Media weren't allowed to attend a vigil at the local church or the burial which was attended by top military officials and naval officers. Fox News, "Russian seamen who died in mysterious navy submarine accident are buried," 7 July 2019 The sovereign council will consist of five military officials and five civilian leaders, along with one additional civilian, selected and agreed to by both groups. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Sudan’s military and civilian opposition have reached a power-sharing deal," 5 July 2019 Large military parades usually followed the end of major wars. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Tanks, But No Tanks," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apple Park is less than half the size of the massive Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military in Arlington, Va., which sprawls across 6.5 million square feet. Roland Li,, "How much is Apple’s spaceship headquarters worth? Now we have the answer," 11 July 2019 None of that would be possible without the Pax Americana guaranteed by U.S. military. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: America’s better than ‘just OK’ as New York Times says," 10 July 2019 The arrests were made about two hours before President Donald Trump paid tribute to the U.S. military during a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Time, "2 People Were Arrested After a Fourth of July Flag-Burning Incident Near the White House," 5 July 2019 Supporters welcomed his tribute to the U.S. military while protesters assailed him for putting himself center stage on a holiday devoted to unity. Calvin Woodward,, "Trump hails military at Fourth of July event in Washington amid supporters and protesters," 4 July 2019 For example, until 2014, the U.S. military banned a number of common Black hairstyles, including cornrows and braids. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "California is about to ban discrimination against black workers with natural hairstyles," 3 July 2019 The military and local authorities have been working to clear streers since the storm hit. Ana Campoy, Quartz, "A Mexican city got nearly 60 inches of hail," 1 July 2019 In a memorable moment on the first night, Representative Tim Ryan, of Ohio, withered in a confrontation with Representative Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii, about the U.S. military’s presence in Afghanistan. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "The Democratic Primary’s Moving Margins," 30 June 2019 Instead of the dirt of a baseball field, Hickerson’s feet were on the dirt of eastern Afghanistan alongside members of the U.S. military. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Indians pitching coach returns to baseball following 18 years in a traveling ministry," 28 June 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for military

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Latin militaris, from milit-, miles soldier

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Statistics for military

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for military

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

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More Definitions for military



English Language Learners Definition of military

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to soldiers or the armed forces (such as the army, navy, marines, and air force)
: of or relating to the army
: controlled or supported by armed forces



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

: members of the armed forces : military people


mil·​i·​tary | \ ˈmi-lə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce military (audio) \

Kids Definition of military

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to soldiers, the army, or war military drills
2 : carried on by soldiers : supported by armed forces a military government


plural military

Kids Definition of military (Entry 2 of 2)

: members of the armed forces

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More from Merriam-Webster on military

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with military

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for military

Spanish Central: Translation of military

Nglish: Translation of military for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of military for Arabic Speakers

Comments on military

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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