mi·​li·​tia | \ mə-ˈli-shə How to pronounce militia (audio) \

Definition of militia

1a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency The militia was called to quell the riot.
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

Examples of militia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web No armed militia members had shown up by 11:15 a.m. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police, protesters take to streets for planned 'armed patriot' counterprotest," 27 June 2020 The attacks were proving to be a key challenge for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, whose government had promised to take action against militia groups suspected of orchestrating them. Washington Post, "Iraqi forces arrest men suspected of attacks targeting US," 26 June 2020 There is also some correlation with the militia movement and survivalists, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League. Sarah Midkiff,, "Who Are The Boogaloo Bois? These Hawaiian Shirt-Wearing, Gun-Toting Americans Want War," 19 June 2020 On Monday, a counterdemonstrator shot a protester during a scuffle in Albuquerque, after a militia group in military-like garb and armed with semiautomatic rifles stood menacingly in the crowd throughout the afternoon. Katie Shepherd, Anchorage Daily News, "An officer was murdered during Oakland protests. The killer was a ‘Boogaloo Boy’ using the peaceful marches as cover, feds say.," 17 June 2020 Ali Kushayb, a militia leader who is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan, surrendered to authorities in the Central African Republic. The Economist, "Politics this week," 13 June 2020 What happens in one area of the globe has the ability to bypass borders that cannot be controlled or contained by armed militia or walls. Kweku Ramel Akyirefi Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: In Milwaukee's racial climate, there is a problem behind the problem that creates anarchy, chaos and division," 5 June 2020 Today China prefers to use its coastguard, its maritime militia and other agencies to bully neighbours. The Economist, "Chaguan Why China bullies," 18 June 2020 The sudden burst of violent extremism this summer is the first most people have heard of the Boogaloo movement, a vague and amorphous far-right militia loosely bound together by anti-government and pro-gun sentiment, and memes. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "The Meme-Fueled Rise of a Dangerous, Far-Right Militia," 18 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'militia.' 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 militia

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for militia

Latin, military service, from milit-, miles

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Time Traveler for militia

Time Traveler

The first known use of militia was in 1625

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Statistics for militia

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Militia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce militia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of militia

: a group of people who are not part of the armed forces of a country but are trained like soldiers


mi·​li·​tia | \ mə-ˈli-shə How to pronounce militia (audio) \

Kids Definition of militia

: a group of citizens with some military training who are called into service only in emergencies

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