• synonyms


See more synonyms for militate on Thesaurus.com
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.
    1. to be a soldier.
    2. to fight for a belief.
Show More

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for militate

Historical Examples

  • Should he be restored to Rome, would it militate against thy plans?


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • This seems occasionally to militate against the clearness of the work.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker

  • But their having been already in print will militate against them.

  • The fact did not militate against his own story, in the least.


    F. Marion Crawford

  • But there are circumstances that militate against this hypothesis.

British Dictionary definitions for militate


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

Word Origin

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper