1. of, for, or pertaining to the army or armed forces, often as distinguished from the navy: from civilian to military life.
  2. of, for, or pertaining to war: military preparedness.
  3. of or relating to soldiers.
  4. befitting, characteristic of, or noting a soldier: a military bearing.
  5. following the life of a soldier: a military career.
  6. performed by soldiers: military duty.

noun, plural mil·i·tar·ies, mil·i·tar·y.

  1. the military,
    1. the military establishment of a nation; the armed forces.
    2. military personnel, especially commissioned officers, taken collectively: the bar, the press, and the military.


  1. of or relating to the armed forces (esp the army), warlike matters, etc
  2. of, characteristic of, or about soldiers

noun plural -taries or -tary

  1. the military the armed services (esp the army)

adj.mid-15c., from Middle French militaire (14c.), from Latin militaris “of soldiers or war, of military service, warlike,” from miles (genitive militis) “soldier,” of unknown origin, perhaps ultimately from Etruscan, or else meaning “one who marches in a troop,” and thus connected to Sanskrit melah “assembly,” Greek homilos “assembled crowd, throng.” Related: Militarily. Old English had militisc, from Latin. Military-industrial complex coined 1961 in farewell speech of U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower. n.“soldiers generally,” 1757, from military (adj.). Earlier, “a military man” (1736).

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