Definition of militia in English:


Line breaks: mil|itia
Pronunciation: /mɪˈlɪʃə


1A military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency: creating a militia was no answer to the army’s manpower problem [mass noun]: small detachments of militia
More example sentences
  • These elites raised militias that freed U.S. forces from town security duties and joined garrison soldiers to hunt guerrillas in the boondocks.
  • Military forces - and this included the various state militias - were raised to defend the country against England, France, and Spain.
  • In fact, Esdaile asserts that, among the Spanish, the bulk of hard fighting was carried on not by popular forces like urban militias or guerrillas, but a much-maligned and suspected regular army.
1.1A military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities in opposition to a regular army.
More example sentences
  • After weeks of dreadful anticipation, a rebel militia advances against government forces.
  • The size of the military forces of the opposing militias has been subject to exaggeration.
  • It is this dynamic that the intelligent field commander of a local militia or opposition group exploits.
1.2(In the US) all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.


late 16th century: from Latin, literally 'military service', from miles, milit- 'soldier'.

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