paramilitary

adjective para·mil·i·tary \ ˌper-ə-ˈmi-lə-ˌter-ē , ˌpa-rə- \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

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

paramilitary

noun

Examples of paramilitary in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of paramilitary from the Web

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.

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.

First Known Use of paramilitary

1935


PARAMILITARY Defined for English Language Learners

paramilitary

adjective

Definition of paramilitary for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

the significant part of a grievance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!