Trend Watch

Militia

When:

Lookups spiked on January 11, 2013.

Why:

The wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution came under renewed scrutiny as Vice President Joe Biden led the White House task force on guns.

The Second Amendment says: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary offers three definitions of militia:

: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency

: a body of citizens organized for military service

: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

In interpreting the Constitution, opponents of gun control tend to support a definition like the middle one, which doesn't refer to a legal army; supporters of gun control generally support the other two.

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
April 26, 2015
rococo Hear it
excessively ornate or intricate
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears