- a station established at a distance from the main body of an army to protect it from surprise attack: We keep only a small garrison of men at our desert outposts.
- the body of troops stationed there; detachment or perimeter guard.
- an outlying settlement, installation, position, etc.
- a position stationed at a distance from the area occupied by a major formation
- the troops assigned to such a position
- an outlying settlement or position
- a limit or frontier
n.1757, “military position detached from the main body of troops,” from out + post (n.2). Originally in George Washington’s letters. Commercial sense of “trading settlement near a frontier” is from 1802. Phrase outpost of Empire (by 1895) in later use often echoes Kipling.