Definitions

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

  • adjective Of, relating to, or characteristic of members of the armed forces.
  • adjective Performed or supported by the armed forces.
  • adjective Of or relating to war.
  • adjective Of or relating to land forces.
  • noun Armed forces.
  • noun Members, especially officers, of an armed force.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the position or character of a soldier: pertaining to soldiers; suitable to, characteristic of, or performed by soldiers; soldierly: as, a military man; a military deportment or disposition.
  • Relating or pertaining to war. to the art of war, or to an armed force; adapted to or connected with a state of war; martial; warlike; belligerent: as, the military art; military glory; military history; military equipage; a military expedition.
  • Warlike in method or practice; having relation to the usages or purposes of war; connected with or dependent upon the use of armed force: opposed to civil: as, a military despotism; military government; a military execution. Abbreviated mil., milit.
  • Tactical, relating to the order and arrangement to be observed in the management of an army when it is to march, to engage an enemy, or to be encamped.
  • Technical, including the composition, fabrication, and application of warlike machines, and the practice of military engineering in the erection of offensive and defensive works for the protection of an army, a city, or a country. This branch also comprises the topographical surveys, the building of pontoon and other bridges, the projection and construction of roads, telegraph-lines, railroads, etc., necessary to the operations of an army in the field.
  • noun Soldiers generally; soldiery; officers of the army: commonly with the definite article: as, the occasion was enlivened by the presence of the military.

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

  • noun The whole body of soldiers; soldiery; militia; troops; the army.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to soldiers, to arms, or to war; belonging to, engaged in, or appropriate to, the affairs of war
  • adjective Performed or made by soldiers
  • adjective See Martial law, under Martial.
  • adjective (a) An association of military persons under a bond of certain peculiar rules; especially, such an association of knights in the Middle Ages, or a body in modern times taking a similar form, membership of which confers some distinction.
  • adjective tenure of land, on condition of performing military service.

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

  • adjective Characteristic of members of the armed forces.
  • adjective North America Relating to armed forces such as the army, marines, navy and air force (often as distinguished from civilians or police forces).
  • adjective Relating to war.
  • adjective Relating to armies or ground forces.
  • noun Armed forces.
  • noun US, with the U.S. armed forces in general, including the Marine Corps.

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

  • adjective of or relating to the study of the principles of warfare
  • adjective characteristic of or associated with soldiers or the military
  • noun the military forces of a nation
  • adjective associated with or performed by members of the armed services as contrasted with civilians

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin mīlitāris, from mīles, mīlit-, soldier.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French militaire, from Latin mīlitārius, from mīlitis ("soldier").

Examples

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