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From Middle English militari, from Old French militaire, from Latin mīlitāris, from mīles (soldier).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɪl.ɪ.tɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɪl.ɪˌtɛɹ.i/
  • (file)


military (comparative more military, superlative most military)

  1. Characteristic of members of the armed forces.
    She was dishonorably discharged from all military duties.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”, in The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesWikisource:
      "My dear fellow, I know you well. I know the military neatness which characterises you. You shave every morning, and in this season you shave by the sunlight; but since your shaving is less and less complete as we get farther back on the left side, until it becomes positively slovenly as we get round the angle of the jaw, it is surely very clear that that side is less illuminated than the other. I could not imagine a man of your habits looking at himself in an equal light and being satisfied with such a result."
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
  2. (Canada, US) Relating to armed forces such as the army, marines, navy and air force (often as distinguished from civilians or police forces).
    If you join a military force, you may end up killing people.
  3. Relating to war.
    • 1989, Gregory Flynn, Soviet Military Doctrine and Western Policy, page 158:
      The only goal pursued by Western defense strategy — to cause the Warsaw Pact to break off an attack — is more military than political in nature.
  4. Relating to armies or ground forces.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


military (plural military or militaries)

  1. Armed forces.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      The dispatches […] also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies. Having lectured the Arab world about democracy for years, its collusion in suppressing freedom was undeniable as protesters were met by weaponry and tear gas made in the west, employed by a military trained by westerners.
    He spent six years in the military.


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