shock troops

plural noun

1
: troops especially suited and chosen for offensive work because of their high morale, training, and discipline
2
: a group of people militant in pressing for a cause

Examples of shock troops in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Inmates of asylums were taken to the front and used as shock troops essentially condemned to die. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023 The precise plans for how and where the Hamas shock troops would attack were restricted to a tiny circle of elite military planners, amid what Western officials described as professional-grade operational security. Joby Warrick, Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2023 Hamas’s shock troops — 1,500 of which the Israeli government claims to have killed — did not go after military targets on Saturday, such as Tel Aviv’s international airport, internet infrastructure, power plants or key government and military installations. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2023 The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah, and Russia together provided the shock troops and military machinery that stopped the toppling of al-Assad’s regime. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 25 Apr. 2023 Philip’s master plan rested on the belief that his ships must avoid an artillery duel with the enemy and instead discharge their heavy guns at close quarters before grappling and boarding—a scenario in which, the authors suggest, the Armada’s seasoned shock troops would surely prevail. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2023 Today, the Wagner shock troops form a Praetorian Guard for Mr. Touadéra, who is also protected by Rwandan forces, in return for an untaxed license to exploit and export diamonds, gold and timber from virgin forests and from Russian mining interests in the country’s central region. Roger Cohen Mauricio Lima, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2022 Issued late last week, Biden’s latest executive order will empower ideological shock troops to distort federal policy across the board. Rich Lowry, National Review, 20 Feb. 2023 The insurrectionists were his people, his shock troops, there to do his bidding. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 22 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shock troops.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shock troops was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near shock troops

Cite this Entry

“Shock troops.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shock%20troops. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

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