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battalion

[buh-tal-yuh n] /bəˈtæl yən/
noun
1.
Military. a ground force unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies or similar units.
2.
an army in battle array.
3.
Often, battalions. a large number of persons or things; force:
battalions of bureaucrats.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Middle French bataillon < Italian battaglione large squadron of soldiers, equivalent to battagli(a) battaglia + -one augmentative suffix
Related forms
subbattalion, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for subbattalion

battalion

/bəˈtæljən/
noun
1.
a military unit comprised of three or more companies or formations of similar size
2.
(usually pl) any large array
Word Origin
C16: from French bataillon, from Old Italian battaglione, from battaglia company of soldiers, battle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for subbattalion

battalion

n.

1580s, from Middle French bataillon (16c.), from Italian battaglione "battle squadron," from diminutive of Vulgar Latin battalia "battle," from Latin bauttere "to beat" (see batter (v.)). Specific sense of "part of a regiment" is from 1708.

Madame, lui répondit-il, ne vous y fiez pas: j'ay tôujours vû Dieu do coté des gros Batallions. [E.Boursault, 1702]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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