paramilitary

adjective
para·​mil·​i·​tary | \ ˌper-ə-ˈmi-lə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce paramilitary (audio) , ˌpa-rə-\

Definition of paramilitary

: of, relating to, being, or characteristic of a force formed on a military pattern especially as a potential auxiliary military force a paramilitary border patrol paramilitary training

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Other Words from paramilitary

paramilitary noun

Did You Know?

This term paramilitary can take in a wide range of organizations, but is usually applied to forces formed by a government. Groups opposing a government, even when organized along military lines, are more often referred to as guerrillas or insurgents. In countries with weak central governments (such as, in recent times, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, or Congo), warlords may form their own paramilitary forces and take over all local police and military functions. Paramilitary often has a sinister sound today, since it's also applied to groups of off-duty military or police personnel who carry out illegal violence, often at night, with the quiet support of a government.

Examples of paramilitary in a Sentence

Government forces have been attacked by heavily armed paramilitary groups in several villages.

Recent Examples on the Web

Since the Zapatista uprising in 1994, Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, bordering Guatemala, has been filled with checkpoints and paramilitary surveillance of indigenous communities. Washington Post, "Adding troops at Mexico’s border with Guatemala won’t block migrants from coming to the U.S. Here’s why.," 19 June 2019 These include the first sanctions on the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a nearly complete ban on Iran’s oil exports. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Iran, Europe and Trump," 17 June 2019 Hundreds of protesters have been killed and abused by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces following their call for a faster transition to a democratic government. Anita Patrick, CNN, "Why social media is going blue for Sudan," 13 June 2019 On one occasion, CNN reporters mysteriously showed up in advance at the home of a Mueller target, to capture on camera the arrival of paramilitary-like arresting officers. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The FBI Tragedy: Elites above the Law," 11 June 2019 An Associated Press journalist saw heavy deployment of troops from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in several parts of Khartoum and its sister city of Omdurman. Bassam Hatoum, BostonGlobe.com, "Sudan’s protesters launch general strike after crackdown," 9 June 2019 Among the forces supporting the BJP are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu supremacist paramilitary body, of which prime minister Narendra Modi was once member. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "75 years after D-Day, these countries are facing a nationalist resurgence," 6 June 2019 Among the attendees were also a few family members of the 40 paramilitary personnel who were killed in the Pulwama attack in Jammu & Kashmir state weeks before the election. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Narendra Modi begins his second term as India’s prime minister," 30 May 2019 Sixty people were reported to have been killed in the military crackdown in the capital Khartoum, before scores of bodies were found dumped in the river by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said the CCSD, which is close to the protesters. Kareem Khadder And Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Sudan death roll rises to 100 as bodies found in Nile, say doctors," 5 June 2019

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

1935, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for paramilitary

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for paramilitary

The first known use of paramilitary was in 1935

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More Definitions for paramilitary

paramilitary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of paramilitary

: of or relating to a group that is not an official army but that operates and is organized like an army

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