standing army


Definition of standing army

: a permanent army of paid soldiers

Examples of standing army in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our founding fathers feared the use of a standing army that could be used to further the aims of a dictator. James Stavridis, Time, "I Spent My Career in the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Military Must Stand Up for Its Soul in This Moment," 3 June 2020 The United States had a relatively small standing army at the start of the Civil War, one that was further divided, in two, by secession. Matt Dellinger, The New Yorker, "Frederick Law Olmsted’s War on Disease and Disunity," 16 May 2020 Those who receive their immune certification should be encouraged to volunteer for the CoronaCorps, a standing army of individuals committed to helping us heal together. Peretz Partensky, Wired, "To Beat the Coronavirus, Raise an Army of the Recovered," 5 Apr. 2020 Almost a third of the U.S. standing army was committed to a continuation of the extermination order by President James Buchanan, in what was known as the Utah War. Jackson Deakins, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Reporting on the La Mora massacre has harmed efforts to normalize Latter-day Saints," 20 Nov. 2019 In the summer of 1914, with nationalist agitation at its height, all the major European powers were armed and bristling, with millions of men in standing armies and dreadnoughts and howitzers galore, all ready to be mobilized within weeks. Zachary Karabell, WSJ, "The Trouble With Hitler Analogies," 30 Nov. 2018 Yet Americans of that era had a deep and vocal dislike of standing armies, and Washington moved swiftly to demobilize the Continental Army once the war was over. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "America’s Veterans, Then and Now," 11 Nov. 2019 The Peace Prize is awarded to the person who, in the preceding year, has: done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. Mohammed Girma, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed has won the Nobel Prize but there are still big hurdles for peace at home," 11 Oct. 2019 The world's largest standing army, the PLA is actually the military wing of the ruling Communist Party with explicit instructions to follow the orders of the party, not the government. Fox News, "China releases dramatic army propaganda video in wake of Hong Kong protests with 'anti-riot' drills," 1 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'standing army.' 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 standing army

1603, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of standing army was in 1603

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Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Standing army.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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