[ mil-i-teyt ]
See synonyms for militate on
verb (used without object),mil·i·tat·ed, mil·i·tat·ing.
  1. to have a substantial effect; weigh heavily: His prison record militated against him.

  2. Obsolete.

    • to be a soldier.

    • to fight for a belief.

Origin of militate

First recorded in 1615–25; from Latin mīlitātus (past participle of mīlitāre “to serve as a soldier”), equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles ) “soldier” + -ātus verb suffix; see -ate1

confusables note For militate

See mitigate.

Other words from militate

  • mil·i·ta·tion, noun

Words that may be confused with militate

Words Nearby militate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use militate in a sentence

  • Passion, in him, comprehended many of the worst emotions which militate against human happiness.

    The Caxtons, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But first I will examine two cases which might at first sight seem to militate against the principles I have enunciated.

    Naval Warfare | James R. Thursfield

British Dictionary definitions for militate


/ (ˈmɪlɪˌteɪt) /

  1. (intr; usually foll by against or for) (of facts, actions, etc) to have influence or effect: the evidence militated against his release

Origin of militate

C17: from Latin mīlitātus, from mīlitāre to be a soldier


Derived forms of militate

  • militation, noun

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