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[par-uh-mil-i-ter-ee] /ˌpær əˈmɪl ɪˌtɛr i/
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 paramilitaries.
Also, paramilitarist
[par-uh-mil-i-ter-ist] /ˌpær əˈmɪl ɪ tər ɪst/ (Show IPA)
. a person employed in such a force.
Origin of paramilitary
1930-35; para-1 + military Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paramilitary
  • Police were afraid to enter many areas as street gangs and guerrilla and paramilitary groups fought for control of neighborhoods.
  • paramilitary groups entered the melee with rocks, sticks, and iron bars.
  • paramilitary cops in ski masks taking dudes into custody.
  • They were joined by dissident soldiers, and by members of the paramilitary gendarmerie, traditional rivals of the army.
  • Criminal gangs that have sprung from the remnants of right-wing paramilitary groups have also gone into mining.
  • He served three years in federal prison for declaring a paramilitary race war and for illegal possession of weapons.
  • Segregation helped create vicious ghettos ruled, barely, by paramilitary-style cops.
  • The paramilitary commanders had begun confessing to increasingly sinister forms of collusion with his subordinates.
  • The training is conducted in a paramilitary format with strict attention to detail.
  • Its paramilitary approach stresses discipline through training, high standards, and personal responsibility.
British Dictionary definitions for paramilitary


/ˌpærəˈmɪlɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
denoting or relating to a group of personnel with military structure functioning either as a civil force or in support of military forces
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
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Word Origin and History for paramilitary

1935, from para- (1) + military.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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