militate

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verb mil·i·tate \ ˈmi-lə-ˌtāt \

Definition of militate

militated; militating
intransitive verb
:to have weight or effect
  • his boyish appearance militated against his getting an early promotion

Is mitigate against correct?

Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it
    • some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him
    • —William Faulkner
and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake.


Recent Examples of militate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of militate

Latin militatus, past participle of militare to engage in warfare, from milit-, miles



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