paramilitary

A group that's described as being paramilitary resembles an organized army. During the American Revolutionary War, the minutemen were a paramilitary group that fought in the earliest battles.

When civilians organize themselves (or are organized) into a group that appears to be military, or that assists actual military troops, that's a paramilitary organization. You can also call it, simply, a paramilitary. The early twentieth century word combines the prefix para-, "near" or "resembling," and military, from its Latin root militaris, "of soldiers or war."

Definitions of paramilitary
1

adj of or relating to a group of civilians organized to function like or to assist a military unit

n a group of civilians organized in a military fashion (especially to operate in place of or to assist regular army troops)

Synonyms:
paramilitary force, paramilitary organisation, paramilitary organization, paramilitary unit
Types:
fedayeen
(plural) Arab guerrillas who operate mainly against Israel
Fedayeen Saddam, Saddam's Martyrs
a feared paramilitary unit formed in 1995 by young soldiers to serve Saddam Hussein against domestic opponents
Type of:
force, personnel
group of people willing to obey orders

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