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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for military

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of military in a Sentence

Adjective He is being tried in a military court rather than in a civilian court. He has had a long military career. Noun There were many military present but only a few civilians. some would insist that the military's budget is still inadequate
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective SpaceX will have at least two recovery ships deployed off Florida, and NASA will have two military cargo planes ready to take off. Fox News, "SpaceX's first astronaut launch threatened by stormy weather," 26 May 2020 Andrei Krasov, deputy head of the defense committee of the lower house of Russia's parliament, denied that Russia has deployed military planes to Libya. Sudarsan Raghavan, Anchorage Daily News, "Pentagon accuses Russia of sending fighter jets to back Libyan warlord," 26 May 2020 Several companies, including one from China, had bid to build what is slated to be the world’s largest desalination plant near an Israeli military base that is also used by the U.S. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Amid U.S. Pressure, Israel Rejects Chinese Bid for Major Infrastructure Project," 26 May 2020 The Mini Rover’s unique movements could also prove useful on Earth, including for military vehicles or robots that must travel through desert sand and other soft substrates (the project was partly funded by the Army Research Office). Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "This little NASA rover can conquer sand and steep hills," 18 May 2020 Her car was in a head-on collision with Dunn's motorcycle outside a U.S. military base in Northamptonshire, in central England, last year. Imtiaz Tyab, CBS News, "U.S. official's wife "wanted internationally" in deadly U.K. car crash," 13 May 2020 Sam Sachs celebrated his 105th birthday Sunday with a parade of well-wishers in cars, military vehicles and even an appearance from a Los Angeles County sheriff’s helicopter. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, "Drive-through celebrations and car parades nixed in Santa Clara County," 7 May 2020 The Department of Defense wanted to see whether icy terrain could offer a secure location for military bases and operations. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 2020 So what do military service, trauma from losing a home in a wildfire, and the pandemic all have in common? Matt Simon, Wired, "This Mental Health App Is Tailor-Made for Your Pandemic Woes," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tickets are $64 for adults and $59 for students, seniors and military (children under 10 are not permitted). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Taliesin, Wisconsin's only UNESCO site open to the public, will open for tours June 1," 29 May 2020 The Trump administration has brought similar charges against Iranian, Russian and North Korean hackers, including a dozen officers of the GRU, Russia’s military-intelligence agency, who intervened in the 2016 election. The Economist, "Cyber-defence America rethinks its strategy in the Wild West of cyberspace," 28 May 2020 One example: In 2014, the toppling of the pro-Moscow government in Ukraine was followed by Russia’s military intervention, its annexation of Crimea, and a systematic tightening of Western sanctions. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "For US-China relations, a day of reckoning," 28 May 2020 The Air Force's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) team is in charge of all of its former military installations and their legacy pollution issues. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Restrictions expanded near former Wurtsmith air base after PFAS found in most wildlife," 28 May 2020 Beijing also touted the military budget increase as its smallest in years, and said the overall number was a fraction of the money spent by some foreign militaries. Brad Lendon, CNN, "China's defense budget shows Xi's priorities as economy tightens," 27 May 2020 There his military career was cut short by injuries that required extensive rehabilitation. al, "Alabama native Derek Johnson cracks country charts," 26 May 2020 ConocoPhillips is proud to be a military-friendly company that recognizes the life experience, technical knowledge and leadership skills that current, transitioning, or former military employees may have to share. Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle, "Veterans bring employers wide range of skills," 23 May 2020 The final Monday of May remains dedicated to commemorating past and present U.S. military service, along with also marking a more unofficial kick-off to summer. Amanda Randone,, "Get A Head Start On Memorial Day Deals With These Major Fashion Sales," 21 May 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about military

Time Traveler for military

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for military

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Military.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for military


How to pronounce military (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!