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
Examples of paramilitary in a Sentence
Government forces have been attacked by heavily armed paramilitary groups in several villages.
Recent Examples of paramilitary from the Web
The Oath Keepers are a right-wing, paramilitary militia composed mostly of white men with big guns.
Al-Masoudi described Baaj as the last IS supply line between Syria and Iraq in the area and said the paramilitary forces reached the border by retaking the village of Um Jrais.
Clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted in different places in the area, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protests.
Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, paramilitary factions that operate with support from Iran, regularly deploy DJI’s Phantom 4 drone to scan an area for Islamic State positions and car bombs.
The order was a belated recognition of what had been going on for months: an orgy of looting by the various paramilitary groups that work alongside the Syrian Army, and even by elements of the army itself.
Less than a week after helping disarm and disband a Sunni paramilitary group that had once been on its payroll, the U.S. military has now directly clashed with some of its former allies.
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
PARAMILITARY Defined for English Language Learners
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
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