mil·​i·​tant ˈmi-lə-tənt How to pronounce militant (audio)
: engaged in warfare or combat : fighting
: aggressively active (as in a cause) : combative
militant conservationists
a militant attitude
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 conflict erupted after the militant Hamas group stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and taking 250 hostage. Rachel Ventresca, Fortune, 7 June 2024 The militant group has sustained heavy losses but has not been destroyed. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 Israel has repeatedly rejected the notion of Hamas remaining in power and has vowed to destroy the militant group. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 During the Second Intifada, Palestinian militant groups adopted bloodier tactics, killing about 1,000 Israeli civilians and soldiers, often through suicide bombings at eateries and on buses. Adrian Florido, NPR, 2 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for militant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'militant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near militant

Cite this Entry

“Militant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


mil·​i·​tant ˈmil-ə-tənt How to pronounce militant (audio)
: being at war
: aggressively active especially in a cause
militant protesters
militant noun
militantly adverb
militantness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on militant

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