mil·​i·​tant | \-tənt \

Definition of militant 

1 : engaged in warfare or combat : fighting

2 : aggressively active (as in a cause) : combative militant conservationists a militant attitude

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from militant

militant noun
militantly adverb
militantness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for militant

aggressive, militant, assertive, self-assertive mean obtrusively energetic especially in pursuing particular goals. aggressive implies a disposition to dominate often in disregard of others' rights or in determined and energetic pursuit of one's ends. aggressive in his business dealings militant also implies a fighting disposition but suggests not self-seeking but devotion to a cause, movement, or principle. militant protesters rallied against the new law assertive suggests bold self-confidence in expression of opinion. the more assertive speakers dominated the forum self-assertive connotes forwardness or brash self-confidence. a self-assertive young upstart

Examples of militant in a Sentence

an angry and militant speech political radicals with a militant unwillingness to compromise on any issue

Recent Examples on the Web

The militant leader forced Pashtuns from Karachi to resolve their business disputes through Taliban courts in Miram Shah, summoning civilians to make the long journey for hearings. New York Times, "Pakistan’s Taliban Names New Leader After U.S. Drone Strike," 24 June 2018 The most recent flare-up of wide-scale violence in the Indian section occurred in 2016, when a young militant leader was killed by Indian security forces, sparking protests across the Himalayan region. Swati Gupta, CNN, "UN calls for international inquiry into human rights violations in Kashmir," 14 June 2018 The militant leader's name is not included in the summary report, but has been published by The Washington Post and other media based on other reporting. Dan Lamothe And Missy Ryan,, "Military investigation of Niger disaster finds numerous failures in planning," 10 May 2018 Black militant leaders Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown visited the protesters. Karen Matthews, The Seattle Times, "Former students recall 1968 protests that shut down Columbia," 22 Apr. 2018 By The Numbers 82 Number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2006. 20 Number of Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other militant leaders who have been killed in the attacks. Newsweek, "Amazing Photos of Bioluminescent Phytoplankton," 14 Mar. 2018 The Belfast attacks came after days of street violence in Northern Ireland's second city Londonderry, which police blamed on militant Irish nationalists opposed to a 1998 peace deal that Adams helped to broker. NBC News, "Explosive thrown at house of former Irish nationalist leader Gerry Adams," 14 July 2018 Israel said it was focused on hitting militant targets and was warning Gaza civilians to keep their distance from certain sites. Aron Heller,, "Israel exchanges intense fire with Hamas militants in Gaza," 14 July 2018 Still, Klan attacks probably made farmworkers less militant in their protests, so growers may well have appreciated the Klan’s intimidating influence. Longreads, "Oregon’s Racist Past," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'militant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of militant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about militant

Statistics for militant

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for militant

The first known use of militant was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for militant



English Language Learners Definition of militant

: having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on militant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for militant

Spanish Central: Translation of militant

Nglish: Translation of militant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of militant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on militant

What made you want to look up militant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!