- (sometimes lowercase) a member of a group of American militiamen just before and during the Revolutionary War who held themselves in readiness for instant military service.
- a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile with three stages, powered by solid-propellant rocket engines.
- a member of a small, secret, ultraconservative organization formed into armed groups for the declared purpose of conducting guerrilla warfare against a communist invasion of the U.S.
Origin of Minuteman
Examples from the Web for minutemen
She founded Minutemen American Defense several years ago, supposedly to keep America safe from “illegals.”Death Sentence for Arizona Child Killer
Terry Greene Sterling
April 7, 2011
Other rumors swirling around the Phoenix area pin the killing on Minutemen or narcotraficantes.Who Was the Real Arizona Killer?
Terry Greene Sterling
July 8, 2010
At Lexington they met a company of minutemen, and there were shots and bloodshed.The Road to Paris
Robert Neilson Stephens
Eight minutemen are guarding the house where Adams and Hancock are sleeping.Stories of Later American History
Wilbur F. Gordy
No one saw the minutemen march and countermarch, and no one could hear their feet in the soft grass.Boys and Girls of Colonial Days
Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
In South Carolina companies of minutemen had been formed, and the entire white male population was wearing blue cockades.Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches
Joel Chandler Harris
Are you familiar with the organization known as The Minutemen?Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15)
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
- (sometimes not capital) (in the War of American Independence) a colonial militiaman who promised to be ready to fight at one minute's notice
- a US three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile
Word Origin and History for minutemen
U.S. history, one of a class of militia available for immediate service (i.e. "ready in a matter of minutes"), 1774. As the name of a type of ICBM, from 1961, so called because they could be launched with very little preparation.
Armed American civilians who were active in the Revolutionary War and in the period just preceding the war. They were named Minutemen because they were ready to fight alongside regular soldiers at a moment's notice. The Minutemen of Massachusetts were especially well known. (See Battle of Lexington and Concord.)