Definition: Army

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Army)


From (1386) Middle English armee, borrowed from Old French armee (modern French armée), from Medieval Latin armāta (armed force), a noun taken from the past participle of Latin armāre (to arm), itself related to arma (tools, arms), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂er- (to join, fit together). Doublet of armada. Displaced native Old English here and fierd.


army (plural armies)

  1. A large, highly organized military force, concerned mainly with ground (rather than air or naval) operations.
    The army was sent in to quell the uprising.
    1. Used absolutely for that entire branch of the armed forces.
      The army received a bigger share of this year's budget increase than the navy or air force.
    2. (often capitalized) Within a vast military, a very large tactical contingent (e.g. a number of divisions).
      The Fourth Army suffered such losses that its remainders were merged into the Second Army, also deployed on the Western front.
  2. The governmental agency in charge of a state's army.
    The army opposed the legislature's involvement.
  3. (figuratively) A large group of people working toward the same purpose.
    On sunny days the beaches draw armies of tourists of all kinds.
  4. (figuratively) A large group of social animals working toward the same purpose.
    Our house is being attacked by an army of ants.
  5. (figuratively) Any multitude.
    There was an army of construction cranes working on building the skyscraper.
  6. The military as a whole.
    The People's Liberation Army Navy of China.
    The Yugoslav Army consisted of the War Navy, Ground Forces, and Air Force.

Derived terms

  • army ant
  • army base
  • army boot
  • army brat
  • army creole
  • army green
  • army group
  • army surplus
  • Black Army
  • General of the Army
  • Green Army
  • people's army
  • Red Army
  • standing army
  • Swiss Army knife
  • White Army

Related terms


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: