- a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
- a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
- all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
- a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.
Origin of militia
Examples from the Web for militia
Spending millions on speech is more like raising your own militia.Undo Citizens United? We’d Only Scratch the Surface
November 12, 2014
Islamist brigades including Suqur al-Sham, a 9,000-strong militia, are openly breaking with Western-favored rebel factions.Spies Warned White House: Don’t Hit Al Qaeda in Syria
Shane Harris, Jamie Dettmer
November 7, 2014
From the militia perspective, the Shia factions in Iraq break down as follows.The New Iraq War Could Be Won or Lost This Month by Baghdad Politics
October 3, 2014
But there is a middle way from clean-cut hunkdom to looking like a militia leader who might boil a hitchhiker alive.Leo, the Beard Has to Go: When a Man’s Facial Hair Reaches Crisis Point
September 22, 2014
“They are army, not militia,” the sheik repeated throughout our conversation.The Brewing Battle for Baghdad
August 3, 2014
I beg you will encourage the militia and engage them to continue their exertions.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
We now marched through a settled country, with some militia for our guards.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
From north and east and west the militia of the counties was on its march against us.
I thought ye might belong to Portman's yellow regiment of militia.
They censured the mayor for his weakness and called for the militia.The Harbor
- a body of citizen (as opposed to professional) soldiers
- an organization containing men enlisted for service in emergency only
Word Origin and History for militia
1580s, "system of military discipline," from Latin militia "military service, warfare," from miles "soldier" (see military). Sense of "citizen army" (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1690s, perhaps from a sense in French cognate milice. In U.S. history, "the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not" (1777).