Definition of militant in English:
- I've been amusing myself with the idea of militant liberalism or liberal extremists.
- On yet further occasions, she seems to represent a new intellectual phenomenon: militant social democracy.
- Yet the impact of war soon made the munitions centres fertile ground for militant trade unionism and socialist agitation.
nounBack to top
- Some militants become active late in life, others at an early age.
- Northern Ireland's most notorious Protestant militant is back in jail.
- In the ensuing gun battle one foreign militant was killed.
- Example sentences
- I hate it when someone calls me a ‘techie’ - almost as much as I loathe being called a ‘guru’ but not quite as much as I detest people who militantly cling to their own ignorance.
- The hip-hop ethos can trace its genealogy to the emergence in that decade of a black ideology that equated black strength and authentic black identity with a militantly adversarial stance toward American society.
- What are worth defending, robustly and militantly, are the universal liberal democratic values in our society that exist alongside the crass, antiquated remnants of feudalism and the mistaken attempts to appease religious lobbies.
Late Middle English (in the sense 'engaged in warfare'): from Old French, or from Latin militant- 'serving as a soldier', from the verb militare (see militate). The current sense dates from the early 20th century.
The root of militant, Latin miles ‘soldier’, is shared by military (Late Middle English), militate (late 16th century) originally ‘serve as a soldier’, and militia (late 16th century). For most of its history the main sense of militant has been ‘engaged in warfare’, but from the late 19th century militant has particularly meant ‘aggressively active in pursuing a political or social cause’. In Britain the Militant tendency was a Trotskyite political organization which published a weekly newspaper, Militant, between 1964 and 1997.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.