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militia

[mi-lish-uh] /mɪˈlɪʃ ə/
noun
1.
a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
2.
a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
3.
all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
4.
a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Latin mīlitia soldiery, equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -ia -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for militia
  • Uniformed militia are patrolling the streets and watching the city from their dirigibles.
  • These men of the law are mostly inexperienced ex-members of one militia or another.
  • She argues such militias inspired by a populist personality could be the first signs of a dictatorship in the making.
  • The newest idea is a local pirate-fighting militia.
  • Continentals and militia were hemming in the streets and lanes with ball and bayonet.
  • Men young and old flocked to join militia companies.
  • The Guard are state militia.
  • Rebel militias and Congolese army troops are fighting each other for control of mineral-rich land.
  • In fifty years we have made no material progress in militia organization.
  • Any army fighting a popular militia has hard choices.
British Dictionary definitions for militia

militia

/mɪˈlɪʃə/
noun
1.
a body of citizen (as opposed to professional) soldiers
2.
an organization containing men enlisted for service in emergency only
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: soldiery, from mīles 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 militia
n.

1580s, "system of military discipline," from Latin militia "military service, warfare," from miles "soldier" (see military). Sense of "citizen army" (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1690s, perhaps from a sense in French cognate milice. In U.S. history, "the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not" (1777).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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