mil·​i·​ta·​rism | \ ˈmi-lə-tə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce militarism (audio) \

Definition of militarism

1a : predominance of the military class or its ideals
b : exaltation of military virtues and ideals
2 : a policy of aggressive military preparedness

Other Words from militarism

militarist \ ˈmi-​lə-​tə-​rist How to pronounce militarism (audio) \ noun or adjective
militaristic \ ˌmi-​lə-​tə-​ˈri-​stik How to pronounce militarism (audio) \ adjective
militaristically \ ˌmi-​lə-​tə-​ˈri-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce militarism (audio) \ adverb

Examples of militarism in a Sentence

The administration has been criticized for the militarism of its foreign policy.
Recent Examples on the Web But his private observations soon became part of the public conversation in a country experiencing the Great Depression and watching the development of fascism and militarism in Europe. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2022 An opponent of militarism, a rationalist, Social Democrat, and bitter critic of the Nazis, Kruse generated a lot of publicity for his views. Richard J. Evans, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2021 Long seen as a dove on foreign policy for his opposition to nuclear weapons and efforts to resolve a painful decades-old dispute over Japan’s past militarism in the Korean Peninsula, Kishida showed a harder edge in his campaign for the leadership. Isabel Reynolds, Fortune, 29 Sep. 2021 Now almost pacifist after its history of militarism, Germany has stayed out of most of the recent wars that have proved punishing and inconclusive for other Western countries. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 While Trump’s affection for Russian leader Vladimir Putin and erratic outreach to North Korea have no parallel in U.S. history, his xenophobia and militarism are classically Jacksonian. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 Researchers have found that two particularly humorless ideologies are religious fundamentalism and militarism. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 12 Aug. 2021 Nazism and varieties of fascism emphasize militarism and exalt the state; communism emphasizes economics and exalts the working class — though not in practice. Arthur I. Cyr,, 8 July 2021 In the 20th century, America led the world, defeating fascism, militarism, and communism. Yukong Zhao, National Review, 11 July 2021

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

1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of militarism was in 1863

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Militarism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of militarism

: the opinions or actions of people who believe that a country should use military methods, forces, etc., to gain power and to achieve its goals


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