bat·​tal·​ion | \ bə-ˈtal-yən How to pronounce battalion (audio) \

Definition of battalion

1 : a considerable body of troops organized to act together : army
2 : a military unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies, batteries, or similar units
3 : a large group

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Synonyms for battalion


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Examples of battalion in a Sentence

a battalion of angry protesters the nation's battalions were forced to fight on two fronts simultaneously
Recent Examples on the Web After a tour of duty in Korea as a battalion commander in 1973, Powell served in former President Richard Nixon's administration as a recipient of a prestigious White House fellowship, where was assigned to the Office of Management and Budget. ABC News, 18 Oct. 2021 After studying at the Army War College and a serving in Korea as a battalion commander, Powell got a staff job at the Pentagon and was promoted to one-star general in charge of a brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. Patrick Oster, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2021 Issac Sanchez, battalion chief of Cal Fire communications, says it’s difficult to point to a single reason for fewer acres burning under similar conditions, as so many factors can influence fire growth. Yoohyun Jung, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Oct. 2021 Scheller was the battalion commander for the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. David Martin, CBS News, 6 Oct. 2021 Firefighters were dispatched to a two-story home on the 3400 block of Pearson Street at 5:18 a.m. and were told that there was a person stuck inside, said Christopher Landry, battalion chief of the Oakland Fire Department. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Oct. 2021 The employees were treated for smoke inhalation on site and refused hospital transport, said Cary Rodriguez, a battalion chief with the Germantown Fire Department. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 Oct. 2021 The first Afghan battalion commander whom Escobar mentored lost his job after he was charged with raping one of his male soldiers. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Aug. 2021 For many years, the official Marine version had it that the first flag was replaced because the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Chandler Johnson, wanted a larger one that more troops could see. Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2021

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

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for battalion

Middle French bataillon, from Old Italian battaglione, augmentative of battaglia company of soldiers, battle, from Late Latin battalia combat — more at battle entry 1

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Time Traveler for battalion

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The first known use of battalion was in 1579

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Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Battalion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of battalion

: a large organized group of soldiers
: a large organized group of people who act together


bat·​tal·​ion | \ bə-ˈtal-yən How to pronounce battalion (audio) \

Kids Definition of battalion

: a part of an army consisting of two or more companies

More from Merriam-Webster on battalion

Nglish: Translation of battalion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of battalion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about battalion


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