mil·​i·​tant | \ ˈmi-lə-tənt How to pronounce militant (audio) \

Definition of militant

1 : engaged in warfare or combat : fighting
2 : aggressively active (as in a cause) : combative militant conservationists a militant attitude

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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 Analysts say the vote is unlikely to allow any votes to be cast there so long as the political and militant group Hamas is on the ballot. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Palestinian Authority President Postpones Parliamentary Vote," 30 Apr. 2021 Future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, then Reagan’s appointee to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was a militant foe of anti-discrimination enforcement. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "How Austerity Destroyed the Public Good," 27 Apr. 2021 This mindset can manifest itself in grousing about overcrowding at national parks, militant Leave No Trace shaming, or neglecting urban areas in conversations about environmentalism and recreational opportunities. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "When Corporate Activism Has a Dark Side," 22 Apr. 2021 In this August 30, 2019, photo, Layla Taloo visits the Ninewa Palace Hotel, where she was once brought by her Islamic State militant captor in Mosul, Iraq. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Winners of the 2021 World Press Photo Contest," 15 Apr. 2021 There was Masoud Ahmad Khan, in his mid-30s, who had traveled to Pakistan after Sept. 11 to attend a militant training camp; he was accused of belonging to a jihadist network in Virginia and was sentenced to life in prison. New York Times, "He Was Convicted of a Bombing Plot. Was It a Setup?," 15 Apr. 2021 Castillo’s opponents have smeared him as the inheritor of the militant legacy of the Shining Path terrorist group. Washington Post, "Two Andean elections reflect an age of global discontent," 13 Apr. 2021 Our aristocracy — sorry, meritocracy — is divided between hand-wringing liberals and militant progressives. Ross Douthat New York Times, Star Tribune, "The 'almost-familiarity' for the U.S. in a story of Germany before the fall," 30 Mar. 2021 Antony Blinken, the American secretary of state, issued a litany of complaints against China’s repressions and aggressions, including an increasingly militant posture toward Taiwan and the economic coercion of Australia. The Economist, "Acrimony across the Pacific A hostile meeting sets the tone for US-China relations," 20 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of militant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for militant

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

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Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Militant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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

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