from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An army unit typically consisting of a headquarters and two or more companies, batteries, or similar subunits.
  • noun A large body of organized troops.
  • noun A great number.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An army in battle array.
  • noun In general, any distinct portion of an army or minor body of troops acting together: as, God is on the side of the largest battalions (a saying attributed to Turenne); a battalion of infantry, cavalry, grenadiers, voltigeurs, etc.
  • noun Technically, a body of infantry composed of two or more companies forming part of a regiment, or sometimes constituting a whole regiment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To form into battalions.
  • noun archaic A body of troops; esp. a body of troops or an army in battle array.
  • noun (Mil.) An infantry command of two or more companies, which is the tactical unit of the infantry, or the smallest command which is self-supporting upon the battlefield, and also the unit in which the strength of the infantry of an army is expressed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun military An army unit having two or more companies, etc. and a headquarters. Traditionally forming part of a regiment.
  • noun US, military an army unit having two or more companies, etc. and a headquarters; forming part of a brigade.
  • noun Any large body of troops.
  • noun by extension A great number of things.
  • verb To form into battalions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a large indefinite number
  • noun an army unit usually consisting of a headquarters and three or more companies


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French bataillon, from Old French, from Italian battaglione, augmentative of battaglia, from Vulgar Latin *battalia; see battle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French bataillon.


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  • Of course we were all very concerned, but to our great satisfaction, he said at the end of the day, "Haldenby, your battalion is all right", and walked off.

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  • The battalion is part of the 19,000-soldier 3rd Infantry, the first Army division to be tapped for a third tour of duty in Iraq.

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  • Also, I inadvertently left out the word battalion in the sentence, "a pair of Apache helicopter battalions can devour more than 60,000 gallons of fuel in a single night's attack."

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  • The battalion from the west stopped in the wire when Spectre engaged their supporting tanks.

    Schott, Richard S. 1972

  • This battalion is representative of the whole country, and by the force of their personal example speak for the Army.

    Korean Report 1951

  • You call at Battalion headquarters, and the colonel tells you that your battalion is going to take a certain definite objective, and you are told all about it.

    Experiences of an Infantryman at the Front 1918

  • It will be readily grasped that as each battalion is provided with one Regimental Medical Officer, where a battalion was made up from two or three militia regiments, this meant a considerable rearrangement of medical personnel.

    War Story of the Canadian Army Medical Corps John George 1918

  • When you hear that a Canadian battalion is going into action you have faith that it will acquit itself bravely and nobly, and you do not have to pause to ask whether it was recruited from the East or the West, from Ontario or Quebec or British Columbia.

    Win The War—The Next Step 1917

  • But here again the estimate helps us little, owing to the vague use of the terms battalion and squadron.

    Claverhouse Mowbray Morris 1879


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  • "An army unit typically consisting of a headquarters and two or more companies, batteries, or similar subunits."

    March 17, 2008