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.

Origin of military

1575–85; < Latin mīlitāri(s), equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -āris -ary
Related formsmil·i·tar·i·ly [mil-i-tair-uh-lee, mil-i-ter-uh-lee] /ˌmɪl ɪˈtɛər ə li, ˈmɪl ɪˌtɛr ə li/, adverbmil·i·tar·i·ness, nounan·ti·mil·i·tar·y, adjectivenon·mil·i·tar·y, adjectivepre·mil·i·tar·y, adjectivepro·mil·i·tar·y, adjectivepseu·do·mil·i·tar·i·ly, adverbpseu·do·mil·i·tar·y, adjectivequa·si-mil·i·tar·y, adjectivesu·per·mil·i·tar·y, adjective, nounun·mil·i·tar·i·ly, adverbun·mil·i·tar·y, adjective

Synonyms for military

3. soldierly, soldierlike, martial. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pseudo-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)
Derived Formsmilitarily, adverb

Word Origin for military

C16: via French from Latin mīlitāris, from mīles soldier
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 pseudo-military



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.



"soldiers generally," 1757, from military (adj.). Earlier, "a military man" (1736).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper