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[mil-i-teyt] /ˈmɪl ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used without object), militated, militating.
to have a substantial effect; weigh heavily:
His prison record militated against him.
  1. to be a soldier.
  2. to fight for a belief.
Origin of militate
1615-25; < Latin mīlitātus (past participle of mīlitāre to serve as a soldier), equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
militation, noun
Can be confused
militate, mitigate (see usage note at mitigate)
Usage note
See mitigate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for militate
  • Such factors militate against a speedy turnaround next year, say the pessimists.
  • If anything, it is likely to militate against prisoners' rehabilitation.
  • The follies of the past do not militate the policy of today.
  • Other factors militate against major reliance on tax increases as well.
  • The outcome of some of the incidents may be anticipated, but that does not militate against them.
  • While the shifts he describes are evident, there are also a number of factors that militate against decline.
  • While there appeared to be reasons making the additional summons filing mandatory, other reasons militate against it.
British Dictionary definitions for militate


(intransitive; usually foll by against or for) (of facts, actions, etc) to have influence or effect: the evidence militated against his release
Derived Forms
militation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin mīlitātus, from mīlitāre to be a soldier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for militate

1620s, "to serve as a soldier" (now rare), from Latin militatum, past participle of militare "serve as a soldier," from miles "soldier" (see military (adj.)). Sense developed via "conflict with," to "be evidence" for or against (1640s). Related: Militated; militating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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