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

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 Mohammed Najib, a protester in Khartoum’s Bahri neighborhood, says forces from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protesters who set up barricades in the main streets. Washington Post, "The Latest: Protesters say 2 killed Tuesday in Sudan clashes," 5 June 2019 During the election campaign, Modi played up the threat of Pakistan, India’s Muslim-majority neighbor and archrival, especially after the suicide bombing of a paramilitary convoy in Kashmir on Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "India’s marathon election ends, vote count begins Thursday," 20 May 2019 The Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Khamenei, has sole control over Iran's ballistic missile program. Nasser Karimi, Fox News, "Iran video threatens missile strikes on UAE, Saudi Arabia," 25 Sep. 2018 By early evening, the paramilitary forces and police had blocked off exit routes from the church, leaving dozens of people trapped, along with three people wounded by gunfire. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Two killed as pro-government militia traps protesters in Nicaraguan church," 14 July 2018 The government’s reaction was swift, and in the first few days dozens were killed by police and paramilitary forces using live rounds of ammunition. Margarita Herdocia, Time, "Nicaragua Is Heading Down the Same Dark Path as Venezuela," 13 June 2018 Tensions have cooled between India and Pakistan since February, when Pakistani jihadists bombed an Indian paramilitary convoy in Kashmir and killed at least 40 Indian soldiers. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "China Shields a Jihadist," 15 Mar. 2019 The escalating violence began Feb. 14 with a terrorist bombing that killed 40 Indian paramilitary officers in Kashmir, an area that both India and Pakistan claim in a longstanding border dispute. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistan to Release Captured Indian Pilot, Easing Tensions," 28 Feb. 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

9 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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