Definition of militate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmiləˌtāt/


[no object] (militate against)
(Of a fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing: these fundamental differences will militate against the two communities coming together
More example sentences
  • The problem with this cheerful notion is that circumstances militate against nature in the big city.
  • Have the international community played a positive role or have they in fact militated against the development plans through the so called International Development Assistance agencies?
  • Of course, several circumstances militated against that happening.
tend to prevent, work against, hinder, discourage, prejudice, be detrimental to


The verbs militate and mitigate are sometimes confused. See mitigate (usage).


Late 16th century: from Latin militat- 'served as a soldier', from the verb militare, from miles, milit- 'soldier'.

Words that rhyme with militate

facilitate, habilitate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mil·i·tate

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