1

I want to find a single word that encapsulates the meaning:

"having no knowledge of fighting and/or weapons"

Initially I had considered using "civilian." (as in the martial - civilian continuum). I have since reconsidered because there are plenty of civilians who are well-versed in fighting / weapons (at least here in 'merica).

  • connotation is neutral (neither negative nor positive)
  • looking for something academic-sounding
  • adjective

Bonus: If no such word exists, what is a way I might coin a suitable word?

Example: Some terrorists single-out "soft" targets, because they are ________.

  • Your example sentence makes little sense (for the word you are looking for). Soft targets are those that are relatively unprotected and vulnerable. A forward operating SAS troop, or an sniper element operating in enemy territory would qualify as a soft target (as they have little protection and are vulnerable), but one could not say they have no knowledge of fighting and or weapons. – user252684 May 24 '18 at 23:48
2

Knowing to fight and wanting to fight is linked in language, thus peaceful/bellicose etc. - the word you are looking for does not exist as such.

  • "defenseless" may come close, but someone who knows her way around weapons may still be defenseless without them.
  • "hapless" is negatively charged and encompasses more than martial incompetence

You might want to coin a single word for "having knowledge (practical knowledge?) of fighting and/or weapons" (doesn't exist either) and then say that someone isn't that.

1

unarmed TFD

a. Lacking weapons or armor; defenseless.

As in:

Some terrorists single-out "soft" targets, because they are unarmed.

protected by tchrist May 27 '18 at 13:17

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.