standing army


: a permanent army of paid soldiers

Examples of standing army in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pitching Russian forces against one of the region’s biggest standing armies seemed uncharacteristically reckless and, therefore, unlikely. Matthew Chance, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 The Associated Press delved into how numerous former soldiers in Colombia, which maintains one of the largest standing armies in Latin America, have entered the international legion. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2024 Zelensky is concerned about the government’s ability to pay for a larger standing army (frontline pay is six times the average Ukrainian wage at $3000 per month) and about the political risk. Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 The alliance has also been boosted by Finland, a new member as of last year and one with a large standing army, and by the likely accession of Sweden. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 Advertisement North Korea, in addition to its nuclear weapons program, fields one of the world’s largest standing armies, with 1.3 million active duty soldiers and 7.6 million reservists. Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 Despite international sanctions and domestic economic hardship, North Korea operates one of the world’s largest standing armies and a vigorous defense industry. Paul Sonne,, 13 Sep. 2023 The country did not maintain a large standing army, and as late as the 1870s, the U.S. Navy was smaller than the navy of Chile. Joseph S. Nye Jr., Foreign Affairs, 12 Dec. 2016 Costa Rica, a centuries-old democracy with universal health care, no standing army and the highest literacy rate in Central America, has been relatively insulated from the corruption, narco-terrorism and civil wars that have plagued neighbors like Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 31 Aug. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'standing army.' 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

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of standing army was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near standing army

Cite this Entry

“Standing army.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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