Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have force or influence; bring about an effect or a change.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be in conflict or at variance; come into collision.
  • Hence To stand in array; have weight or force, as in determining anything: followed by against, and permissibly by in favor of: as, these facts militate against (or in fovor of) your theory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To make war; to fight; to contend; -- usually followed by against and with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To give force or effect toward; to influence.
  • verb obsolete To fight.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb have force or influence; bring about an effect or change

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin mīlitāre, mīlitāt-, to serve as a soldier, from mīles, mīlit-, soldier.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin mīlitātus, from mīlitō. Originally meant "be a soldier; fight".

Examples

  • She felt that she had spoken as impressively as it was necessary to do, and that in using the superior word "militate" she had thrown a noble drapery over a mass of particulars which were still evident enough.

    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life (1900)

  • She felt that she had spoken as impressively as it was necessary to do, and that in using the superior word "militate" she had thrown a noble drapery over a mass of particulars which were still evident enough.

    Middlemarch

  • She felt that she had spoken as impressively as it was necessary to do, and that in using the superior word "militate" she had thrown a noble drapery over a mass of particulars which were still evident enough.

    Middlemarch

  • "militate" against the rights of minorities, the LJP has urged the Centre to ensure that the legislation does not

    WN.com - Business News

  • Mrs. Binks did not know what "militate" meant, unless it might be something in connection with the church militant, of which she had heard a great deal; but she was not a mild-tempered woman, and she grew very red in the face at this reproof. "

    The Lovels of Arden

  • We agree with the great publisher William Packard of the New York Quarterly, who said he wanted to present the printed poem in the best possible way; he thought that “bad printing and mediocre book design inevitably militate against a fair reading of a poem”.

    henry denander | 6 poems on writing, writers, fatherhood, marriage, jazz, jazz musicians, fame & much more « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets?

    Chris Weigant: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Vietnam Speech

  • Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets?

    Chris Weigant: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Vietnam Speech

  • The imbalances inherent in the material—some elements already have shelves of works dedicated to them, while others warrant a paragraph or less—also militate against a satisfying structure.

    Periodic Table Talk

  • We agree with the great publisher William Packard of the New York Quarterly, who said he wanted to present the printed poem in the best possible way; he thought that “bad printing and mediocre book design inevitably militate against a fair reading of a poem”.

    April « 2009 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

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