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

Stone finds that in Operation Reinhard, Nazis were able to kill at a rate 83 percent higher than the Hutu militias. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Precisely How Nazi Infrastructure Enabled the Worst of the Holocaust," 2 Jan. 2019 Libya is currently split between rival governments in the east and the west, each backed by an array of militias. Rami Musa, Fox News, "Libyan officials say unknown missiles hit Tripoli airport," 12 Sep. 2018 Either way, Trump's pardon is an endorsement of the right-wing, gun-toting, lawbreaking militia that follows the Bundys. Jake Bullinger, Outside Online, "Trump’s Pardon Condones Western Rebellion," 12 July 2018 In Iraq, Iran sponsors a range of Shiite militias and has close ties to the political leadership. Sarah El Deeb,, "Iran and Israel are shooting at each other in Syria. Why?," 12 May 2018 Ankara sees the Kurdish YPG militia—the main component of the SDF—as a threat to its country. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "U.S. Ally in Syria Welcomes Trump’s Reversal on Troops," 22 Feb. 2019 During the genocide, Verena’s husband was killed; Verena was gang-raped by a Hutu militia at the same time as her first daughter, who then passed away after giving birth. Caterina Clerici & Eléonore Hamelin, Marie Claire, "Rwanda's Future Is Female," 1 Feb. 2019 Ankara considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG militia a terror group that's part of a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey. Fox News, "The Latest: Company says systems will help protect Syria," 28 Sep. 2018 The assault is led by an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab militias that is the vanguard of Western efforts to destroy Islamic State in Syria. Nabih Bulos,, "It's an awkward dance as the U.S., Russia and Iran all zero in on Islamic State," 22 June 2018

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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Statistics for militia

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for militia

The first known use of militia was in 1625

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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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Comments on militia

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

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