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

In recent years Mr Modi has won much approval around India for military operations undertaken in and around Kashmir. The Economist, "India abruptly ends the last special protection enjoyed by Kashmir," 6 Aug. 2019 For what happened in El Paso on Saturday, blame the ready availability of military-style assault rifles and large-capacity magazines. Elaine Ayala,, "Call the El Paso massacre what it is: domestic terrorism," 6 Aug. 2019 The device, Starner says, could be useful in military operations, such as when special forces need to communicate silently. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This Device Can Hear the Voice Inside Your Head," 5 Aug. 2019 The report apparently refers to civilians killed during Afghan and U.S. military operations against insurgents, such as airstrikes and night raids on militant hideouts. Rahim Faiez,, "Afghan forces and U.S. coalition allies have killed more civilians in 2019 than the Taliban, U.N. says," 2 Aug. 2019 The report apparently referred to civilians killed during Afghan and US military operations against insurgents. Rahim Faiez,, "Bus hit by roadside bomb in Afghanistan, 32 killed," 31 July 2019 The second incident took place in the country's southwestern province of Balochistan, where a military operation left four soldiers dead. Sophia Saifi, CNN, "Ten Pakistani soldiers gunned down, military says," 27 July 2019 Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is a singular entity, an elite military force that outsources sweeping hacking efforts, as well. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Security News This Week: WannaCry Hero Marcus Hutchins Won't Go to Jail for Old Hacking Crimes," 27 July 2019 Together with Stauffer, Eichelberger and Comstock choreographed each aspect of the renovation like a military operation, cataloging the location and position of every tree, plant and boulder. Emily Young, Los Angeles Times, "Beloved Japanese garden reopens at Lotusland in Montecito — but good luck getting in," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But other people with connections to the military saw things differently. Los Angeles Times, "Man and myth, Part II: A return to Brotherhood Raceway, and Big Willie Robinson’s legacy," 8 Aug. 2019 Students learn about and discuss democracy, the Constitution and contemporary writings about the military. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Warrior-Scholar Project ‘boot camp’ at UCI puts military members on the front line of education," 7 Aug. 2019 The military had worried that a route through the base would impact the mission there by disrupting training. Josh Baugh,, "San Antonio Water System breaks ground on massive sewer line," 7 Aug. 2019 The military contingent dwindled while the civilian workforce surged. Erika Butler,, "New commanding general sees ‘nothing but promise’ for Aberdeen Proving Ground in event of another BRAC," 6 Aug. 2019 Other potential uses include helping firefighters detect whether people are inside a burning building and helping the military determine when a hole is actually part of a tunnel. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Seems like dark magic': Camera that can see around corners created by UW scientists," 5 Aug. 2019 Yet another blow came when Wing was drafted into the military. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Remembering Dorothy Toy, a Dazzling Asian-American Tap Dance Star," 5 Aug. 2019 That puts scientists well ahead of politicians, business people, and the media, and roughly on par with the US military. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New poll finds the US generally trusts scientists, with some exceptions," 4 Aug. 2019 What started as a joke about raiding Area 51 to break out the aliens became widespread enough that the actual military held briefings on what a Naruto run is. Dami Lee, The Verge, "TikTok turns one: its first 12 months, as told through TikToks," 2 Aug. 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

10 Aug 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).


of or relating to the heavens

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