a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.
all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.
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.

1580–90; < Latin mīlitia soldiery, equivalent to mīlit- (stem of mīles) soldier + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To militias
World English Dictionary
militia (mɪˈlɪʃə)
1.  a body of citizen (as opposed to professional) soldiers
2.  an organization containing men enlisted for service in emergency only
[C16: from Latin: soldiery, from mīles soldier]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1590, "system of military discipline," from L. militia "military service, warfare," from miles "soldier" (see military). Sense of "citizen army" (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1696, perhaps from Fr. 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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
As state militias were mustered into service they naturally brought along their
Rebel militias in the area have been accused of slaughtering and eating the
  critically endangered apes.
Their militias stopped cars at every other intersection to demand money or
He helped form militias and private-security companies, and sometimes used them
  for his own ends.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature