Etymology
Advertisement

battalion (n.)

1580s, from 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. The oft-repeated quote "God is on the side of the largest battalions" (with many variants) usually is attributed to 17c. French military genius and marshal Turenne:

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

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of battalion

battalion (n.)
an army unit usually consisting of a headquarters and three or more companies;
battalion (n.)
a large indefinite number;
a battalion of ants
Synonyms: large number / multitude / plurality / pack
From wordnet.princeton.edu