Definition of army in English:



  • 1An organized military force equipped for fighting on land.

    ‘the two armies were in position’
    • ‘Bob, an army warrant officer, agreed to have his sperm frozen when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.’
    • ‘While driving them to the border he was stopped by an Iranian army patrol and forced to shoot and kill two soldiers.’
    • ‘In effect he was an officer cadet in an army that doubled as military academy for young noblemen on the Continent.’
    • ‘It will also be allowed to equip its army, run a police force and all of the departments of state.’
    • ‘In practice armies, even at the height of a campaign, often spent most of their time sitting around doing nothing.’
    • ‘Many times in our past we have seen enemy fleets in the channel and enemy armies encamped in the continental ports.’
    • ‘His pronouncements cannot bring down governments, or send armies off to fight and die.’
    • ‘All the village men were fighting alongside the two armies, the Corbett army having come to join in.’
    • ‘The cost of maintaining such huge armies in the field would be prohibitive.’
    • ‘There was very little formal structure by way of military rank in Viking armies.’
    • ‘The transport of land armies by sea and their support ashore by naval forces actually predate warfare at sea.’
    • ‘The ploy worked and the Anglo-Dutch army united with the armies of the margrave of Baden and Eugene of Savoy.’
    • ‘More than a fight between armies, the Middle East conflict is a clash between two national stories.’
    • ‘Even so it never envisaged itself as much more than an auxiliary force to the armies of Prussia and Austria.’
    • ‘Only the Utuku, of all the peoples known to me in the world, equip and organize their armies in that manner.’
    • ‘These days, great armies fighting each other are a thing of the past.’
    • ‘How do navies, air forces and armies learn from experience and why is it that so often the wrong lessons are learned?’
    • ‘Officers from an army bomb disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion on the package.’
    • ‘A country's capabilities depend very much on how her force is divided between armies and fleets.’
    • ‘Camp followers shared the military fortunes of the armies they accompanied.’
    armed force, fighting force, defence force, military force, the military, land force, soldiery, infantry, militia, horde
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    1. 1.1The branch of a nation's armed services that conducts military operations on land.
      ‘an enlisted man in the army’
      [as modifier] ‘army officers’
      • ‘He then joined the army, motivated solely by a desire to learn combat and survival skills.’
      • ‘It was an unhappy experience and he eventually ran away to join the army.’
      • ‘And he declared that he would want to fight alongside his men if he joined the army.’
      • ‘His work in Cambridge was interrupted by World War I when he worked on the land rather than join the army.’
      • ‘Ron was training to be a Baptist lay preacher when he decided that his duty was to his country and he joined the army.’
      • ‘On leaving the College he decided to take up a military career and, when war broke out with Spain he joined the army.’
      • ‘Now is the time to train as a nurse, join the army or make yourself indispensable to the government in some other way.’
      • ‘He had joined the army as a drummer boy and had served in India before the outbreak of the First World War.’
      • ‘The only option for youth was to join the army or go into town in search of a job.’
      • ‘Stewart joined the army at 18 despite his mother's concerns over life in the military.’
      • ‘Pupils in Preston are signing up to join the army one day a week while studying for their GCSEs.’
      • ‘For me, reporting for duty on a strike day would be like joining the army and then refusing to go to war.’
      • ‘He was young, had only just joined the army and had had very little training.’
      • ‘In last five years, none of the young men living there has been healthy enough to join the army.’
      • ‘By the age of 14 she had two ambitions: to join the army and to compete in the Olympics.’
      • ‘He was right on one front - Steve did indeed join the army and worked for several years in bomb disposal.’
      • ‘The number of those willing to join the army has been going down in the recent years.’
      • ‘Until the Crimean War, the Russian army was trained to fight battles like Borodino.’
      • ‘When he left boarding school in England, he joined the army and served in the Royal Artillery.’
      • ‘He joined the army in 1808 but struggled for promotion because he was not an aristocrat.’
    2. 1.2A large number of people or things, typically formed or organized for a particular purpose.
      ‘an army of photographers’
      ‘armies of cockroaches’
      • ‘He's got his own website and an army of fans who will agree with everything he says.’
      • ‘It has an army of loyal fans which consider the GTi to be the most fun you can have on four wheels.’
      • ‘There are two armies of cells fighting in the body - the army of the healthy cells and the army of the cancer cells.’
      • ‘The international gambling industry has hired an army of lobbyists to stack the odds in its favour.’
      • ‘He is now attracting an army of fans, and keeps winning every time he steps up to a new racing division.’
      • ‘The weight he bears, though, is just as heavy, but it is one his growing army of fans loads on him.’
      • ‘This is done through local councils who hire armies of lawyers to fight the airport and its army of lawyers.’
      crowd, swarm, multitude, horde, host, mob, gang, throng, stream, mass, body, band, troop, legion, flock, herd, pack, drove, sea, array
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  • an army marches on its stomach

    • A group of soldiers or workers can only fight or function effectively if they have been well fed.

      • ‘Napoleon recognised that an army marches on its stomach but, today, a more pertinent question for all farmers and tax payers is: ‘Should British soldiers be stuffing themselves with foreign meat in their rations?’’
      • ‘‘Napoleon said that an army marches on its stomach, and I fed these guys,’ says the Fannie Mae leader who spearheaded the move last summer.’
      • ‘If an army marches on its stomach, software product development at every large corporation marches on the Zee cabinet.’
      • ‘As Napoleon once said, an army marches on its stomach - hence the importance of getting tucker to the troops.’
      • ‘Emperor Napoleon had said an army marches on its stomach.’
  • you and whose army?

    • informal Used as an expression of disbelief in someone's ability to carry out a threat.

      ‘“One word to him and I'll nail you.” “You and whose army?”’


Late Middle English: from Old French armee, from armata, feminine past participle of Latin armare to arm.