vigorously active and aggressive, especially in support of a cause: militant reformers.
engaged in warfare; fighting.


a militant person.
a person engaged in warfare or combat.

Origin of militant

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin mīlitant- (stem of mīlitāns), present participle of mīlitāre to serve as a soldier. See militate, -ant
Related formsmil·i·tan·cy, mil·i·tant·ness, nounmil·i·tant·ly, adverbhy·per·mil·i·tant, adjectivehy·per·mil·i·tant·ly, adverbnon·mil·i·tan·cy, nounnon·mil·i·tant, adjective, nounnon·mil·i·tant·ly, adverbsu·per·mil·i·tant, adjectiveul·tra·mil·i·tant, adjectiveun·mil·i·tant, adjectiveun·mil·i·tant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for militant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for militant

Contemporary Examples of militant

Historical Examples of militant

  • Might I ask why this sudden interest in the militant laboring ladies?

    An American Suffragette

    Isaac N. Stevens

  • The emotions of the militant Federalists were too various to admit of description.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson

  • To these images and values he conformed, not submissively, but with a militant enthusiasm.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • Their militant social democracy was at once comical and corrective.

  • "Darwinismus" became the battle-cry of the militant spirits of that time.

    Form and Function

    E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

British Dictionary definitions for militant



aggressive or vigorous, esp in the support of a causea militant protest
warring; engaged in warfare


a militant person
Derived Formsmilitancy or rare militantness, nounmilitantly, adverb

Word Origin for militant

C15: from Latin mīlitāre to be a soldier, from mīles soldier



a member of Militant Tendency
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for militant

early 15c., "fighting, engaged in warfare," from Middle French militant "fighting," from Latin militantem (nominative militans), present participle of militare "serve as a soldier" (see militate), originally especially in Church militant. Related: Militantly.


"one engaged in war or strife," c.1600, from militant (adj.); in a political sense, it is attested by 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper