shock troops

plural noun

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 They were deployed as shock troops, to claw back scraps of territory in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2020 The thought of robotic shock troops converging from the ground and the sky is a strong impetus to give peace a chance. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 7 Apr. 2015 Unless the barrier is breached by injury, autoimmune disease or catastrophic infection, rarely does a T cell, a B cell or any of the immune system’s other shock troops get through. Kenneth Miller, Discover Magazine, 10 Dec. 2013 Stormtroopers wear Totenkopf skulls for helmets and borrow their name from Hitler’s shock troops. Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2022 The first of these is a horror story; in the course of almost three hours on Thursday night, Trump’s former aides recalled the surreal menace of watching the MAGA shock troops breach the Capitol. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 The president’s all-too-late video calling off his shock troops was little more than a duck for cover. WSJ, 29 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shock troops.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shock troops was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near shock troops

Cite this Entry

“Shock troops.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?