a station established at a distance from the main body of an army to protect it from surprise attack: We keep only a small garrison of men at our desert outposts.
the body of troops stationed there; detachment or perimeter guard.
an outlying settlement, installation, position, etc.

1750–60; out- + post2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
outpost (ˈaʊtˌpəʊst)
1.  military
 a.  a position stationed at a distance from the area occupied by a major formation
 b.  the troops assigned to such a position
2.  an outlying settlement or position
3.  a limit or frontier

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1757, "military position detached from the main body of troops," from out + post (2). Originally in George Washington's letters. Commercial sense of "trading settlement near a frontier" is from 1802. Phrase outpost of Empire (1912) echoes Kipling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The list of innovations that came from the outpost is amazing.
The town began as a fishing and mining outpost, but more recently, creative types have staked claims here as well.
Frank had arrived in this coal-choked outpost without a proper pair of pants.
The island's location has also made it an excellent military outpost throughout its history.
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