verb (used without object), mil·i·tat·ed, mil·i·tat·ing.

to have a substantial effect; weigh heavily: His prison record militated against him.
  1. to be a soldier.
  2. to fight for a belief.

Nearby words

  1. military pace,
  2. military police,
  3. military school,
  4. military science,
  5. military-industrial complex,
  6. milites gloriosi,
  7. militia,
  8. militia movement of the 1990s,
  9. militiaman,
  10. milium

Origin of militate

1615–25; < Latin mīlitātus (past participle of mīlitāre to serve as a soldier), equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -ātus -ate1

Related formsmil·i·ta·tion, noun

Can be confusedmilitate mitigate (see usage note at mitigate)

Usage note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for militate

British Dictionary definitions for militate



(intr; usually foll by against or for) (of facts, actions, etc) to have influence or effectthe evidence militated against his release
Derived Formsmilitation, noun

Word Origin for militate

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


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 militate



1620s, "to serve as a soldier" (now rare), from Latin militatum, past participle of militare "serve as a soldier," from miles "soldier" (see military (adj.)). Sense developed via "conflict with," to "be evidence" for or against (1640s). Related: Militated; militating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper