minute man

Minuteman

[min-it-man]
noun, plural Minutemen.
1.
(sometimes lowercase) a member of a group of American militiamen just before and during the Revolutionary War who held themselves in readiness for instant military service.
2.
a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile with three stages, powered by solid-propellant rocket engines.
3.
a member of a small, secret, ultraconservative organization formed into armed groups for the declared purpose of conducting guerrilla warfare against a communist invasion of the U.S.

Origin:
1765–75, Americanism; minute1 + man1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Minuteman (ˈmɪnɪtˌmæn)
 
n , pl -men
1.  (sometimes not capital) (in the War of American Independence) a colonial militiaman who promised to be ready to fight at one minute's notice
2.  a US three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

minuteman
U.S. history, class of militia available for immediate service (i.e. "ready in a matter of minutes"), 1774. As the name of a type of ICBM, from 1961, so called because they could be launched with very little preparation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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