1. noting or pertaining to an organization operating as, in place of, or as a supplement to a regular military force: a paramilitary police unit.
noun, plural par·a·mil·i·tar·ies.
  1. Also par·a·mil·i·ta·rist [par-uh-mil-i-ter-ist] /ˌpær əˈmɪl ɪ tər ɪst/. a person employed in such a force.

Origin of paramilitary

First recorded in 1930–35; para-1 + military Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for paramilitary

Contemporary Examples of paramilitary

Historical Examples of paramilitary

  • Paramilitary programs of Party-sponsored youth organizations are similar in many ways to those in the school system.

British Dictionary definitions for paramilitary


  1. denoting or relating to a group of personnel with military structure functioning either as a civil force or in support of military forces
  2. denoting or relating to a force with military structure conducting armed operations against a ruling or occupying power
    1. a paramilitary force
    2. a member of such a force
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

Word Origin and History for paramilitary

1935, from para- (1) + military.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper