militia

[ mi-lish-uh ]
/ mɪˈlɪʃ ə /

noun

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.

Nearby words

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

Origin of militia

1580–90; < Latin mīlitia soldiery, equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -ia -ia

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

Examples from the Web for militia


British Dictionary definitions for militia

militia

/ (mɪˈlɪʃə) /

noun

a body of citizen (as opposed to professional) soldiers
an organization containing men enlisted for service in emergency only

Word Origin for militia

C16: from Latin: soldiery, from mīles 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 militia

militia

n.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper