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Military. a ground force unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies or similar units.
an army in battle array.
Often, battalions. a large number of persons or things; force:
battalions of bureaucrats.
Contemporary Examples

But the FSA battalion, weakened from months of being under siege, did not have enough ammunition to engage ISIS in the fight.
U.S. Ignored Warnings Before ISIS Takeover of a Key City Josh Rogin July 9, 2014

In fact, ask any battalion leader and they will tell you that the point man is vital to a mission.
We Need MLK’s Revolutionary Spirit Roland S. Martin January 19, 2014

Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period.
We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night Nathan Bradley Bethea June 1, 2014

Up in the tower, Bucca was joined by battalion Chief Orio Palmer, who had managed to get a freight elevator to bring him part way.
The Flying New York Fireman Who Shined on 9/11 Michael Daly September 10, 2014

The company gets that same report from all of its platoons then gives the picture to the battalion.
Mayor Bloomberg’s Response to Sandy Leaves Many New Yorkers Out in the Cold Harry Siegel November 4, 2012

Historical Examples

battalion, stand at—— after which they awaited with feverish nervousness the word of command.
The Duel A. I. Kuprin

We had a transfer from the 1st battalion who had also been in the Crimea.
A Soldier’s Life Edwin G. Rundle

But on the seventh day Charles led a battalion of his biggest, fiercest Germans straight against the Moorish center.
The Ifs of History Joseph Edgar Chamberlin

The battalion with the Colonel was all ready for the bloody charge.
Bamboo Tales Ira L. Reeves

Major McFarland, of the latter, fell nobly at the head of his battalion.
The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 J. F. Loubat, LL.D.

a military unit comprised of three or more companies or formations of similar size
(usually pl) any large array

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]


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  • Bat turn

    a sharp and sudden change in an aircraft’s heading.

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  • Bat yam

    a city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in W central Israel, S of Tel Aviv.

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