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

Some were military veterans suffering from PTSD, and others were high-school dropouts. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Students who beat steep odds credit Washington educators who wouldn’t give up on them," 4 Feb. 2019 Voters ended up approving Amendment 2, which will impose a 4 percent tax and set that money aside for military veterans. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Three states vote in favor of marijuana," 7 Nov. 2018 Other limits and exceptions apply, such as for certain military personnel. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Home-Seller’s Exemption," 15 Feb. 2019 Her military experience is also playing a key role in shaping her platform. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Tulsi Gabbard Wants to Put a Little ‘Aloha’ in the 2020 Race," 19 Jan. 2019 According to the Daily Mail, this event is kicking off two days of engagements to honor all the 7,500 military personnel from the U.K. serving overseas or away from home. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore Meghan Markle-Esque Wide-Leg Pants to an Air Force Base," 5 Dec. 2018 After conferring Monday with Afghan leaders and American military commanders and diplomats in Kabul, Pat Shanahan was scheduled to attend a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels and an international security conference in Munich, Germany. Robert Burns, The Seattle Times, "New Pentagon chief makes global debut with status uncertain," 11 Feb. 2019 Joined by wife Duchess Meghan, who stunned in a bespoke Givenchy dress, Prince Harry spent Thursday evening alongside his close network of military veterans, friends made from his years championing causes that help servicemen and women. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan Share Baby Joy at Event Close to Harry's Heart," 8 Feb. 2019 But the growing militarization of space made these delays unacceptable to military commanders. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "USAF's Next-Gen GPS Satellites Will Be a Huge Upgrade...Eventually," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Polish military is looking to the United States for help in pushing back against Vladimir Putin’s ambitions for Eastern Europe. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "It Looks Like A U.S. Air Base Is Coming To Poland," 13 Mar. 2019 The military has used Facebook to help spread propaganda to support that mission, and Facebook has been criticized for moving too slowly to stop the spread of this propaganda. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook removed hundreds more accounts linked to the Myanmar military for posting hate speech and attacks against ethnic minorities," 19 Dec. 2018 The establishment of these two organizations would rearrange the military’s current bureaucracy for handling national security space missions, which mostly revolve around launching satellites for surveillance, communications, and navigation. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018 Ijaz Khattak, a political analyst in Peshawar, said the military has been too distracted by the Sharif family scandal, at the expense of public security for others. Shaiq Hussain And Antonio Olivo,, "Pakistanis urge military to boost security after hundreds die in attacks before election," 14 July 2018 Some argue that, especially with ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other commitments around the world, the military is simply stretched too thin. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Why a Judge Ruled the Males-Only Military Draft Unconstitutional," 25 Feb. 2019 And in that same mailing, Victoria included a brooch in honor of Nightingale's service to the military. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Did Queen Victoria Really Meet Florence Nightingale?," 4 Feb. 2019 Microsoft and Magic Leap competed to provide new AR headsets to the military. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: AR and VR," 30 Dec. 2018 In 2010, the military relocated our family from Illinois to San Diego, where the cost of living seemed astronomical. Sandy M. Fernandez, Woman's Day, "How Three Women Are Pioneering to End Hunger in the U.S.," 14 Nov. 2018

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

23 Mar 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

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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