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[gar-uh-suh n] /ˈgær ə sən/
a body of troops stationed in a fortified place.
the place where such troops are stationed.
any military post, especially a permanent one.
verb (used with object)
to provide (a fort, town, etc.) with a garrison.
to occupy (a fort, post, station, etc.) with troops.
to put (troops) on duty in a fort, post, station, etc.
Origin of garrison
1250-1300; Middle English garisoun protection, stronghold < Old French garison, gareison defense, provision, derivative of garir, guerir to defend < Germanic; compare Old High German warjan
Related forms
overgarrison, verb (used with object)
regarrison, verb (used with object)
ungarrisoned, adjective


[gar-uh-suh n] /ˈgær ə sən/
William Lloyd, 1805–79, U.S. leader in the abolition movement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for garrison
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I believe the Bible says to leave all and cleave unto your wife," returned garrison.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • Leaving a garrison at Martaban, we proceeded to Rangoon, which had not given in.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • Here the Portuguese maintain a kind of garrison, if we may allow it that name.

  • We settled down and anticipated a long stay in this garrison.

    A Soldier's Life Edwin G. Rundle
  • But this I believe: you, nor a member of your garrison, will be alive tomorrow.

    Dixie After the War Myrta Lockett Avary
British Dictionary definitions for garrison


the troops who maintain and guard a base or fortified place
  1. the place itself
  2. (as modifier): a garrison town
(transitive) to station (troops) in (a fort)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French garison, from garir to defend, of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse verja to defend, Old English, Old High German werian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for garrison

c.1300, "store, treasure," from Old French garison "defense" (Modern French guérison "cure, recovery, healing") from garir "defend" (see garret). Meaning "fortified stronghold" is from early 15c.; that of "body of troops in a fortress" is from mid-15c., a sense taken over from Middle English garnison "body of armed men" (late 14c.), from Old French garnison "provision, munitions," from garnir "to furnish, provide."


1560s, from garrison (n.). Related: Garrisoned; garrisoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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garrison in the Bible

(1.) Heb. matstsab, a station; a place where one stands (1 Sam. 14:12); a military or fortified post (1 Sam. 13:23; 14:1, 4, 6, etc.). (2.) Heb. netsib, a prefect, superintendent; hence a military post (1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3, 4; 2 Sam. 8:6). This word has also been explained to denote a pillar set up to mark the Philistine conquest, or an officer appointed to collect taxes; but the idea of a military post seems to be the correct one. (3.) Heb. matstsebah, properly a monumental column; improperly rendered pl. "garrisons" in Ezek. 26:11; correctly in Revised Version "pillars," marg. "obelisks," probably an idolatrous image.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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