Definition of militant in English:

militant

adjective

  • Favouring confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause.

    ‘the army are in conflict with militant groups’
    • ‘Communism has been replaced by equally totalistic and militant forms of nationalism and religious fundamentalism.’
    • ‘At the same time, Britain's bosses faced a very militant working class determined to defend their jobs, wages and conditions.’
    • ‘The influx was to produce one of the state's most militant working class centres.’
    • ‘One theme touched on was how the most militant activists should organise.’
    • ‘But just because the ability to organise is so important to us, socialists are always the most militant defenders of democratic rights.’
    • ‘Ours is not a militant area, but support for the strike inside and outside the fire brigade remains high.’
    • ‘On yet further occasions, she seems to represent a new intellectual phenomenon: militant social democracy.’
    • ‘I've been amusing myself with the idea of militant liberalism or liberal extremists.’
    • ‘Once again, this stance expresses political passivity, this time dressed up in the garb of militant syndicalism.’
    • ‘It was successful in inflicting a massive defeat on the most militant sections of the working class.’
    • ‘She deserves to be recalled as someone who showed how militant working class women could be active in a world dominated by male trade unionists in the 1920s.’
    • ‘The generals in turn used the opportunity to crack down on more militant opponents and stabilise the political situation.’
    • ‘The newspaper found that the three teenagers were not members of any militant organisation, nor was one of the older men.’
    • ‘We need to build a network of activists that can build militant protests against war, and can also deliver solidarity with all the groups of workers fighting back.’
    • ‘He was very much the acceptable face of militant republicanism.’
    • ‘The key question for students was to turn to the working class and arm this militant movement with a conscious socialist orientation.’
    • ‘It wasn't just the militant offices that walked out.’
    • ‘Yet the impact of war soon made the munitions centres fertile ground for militant trade unionism and socialist agitation.’
    • ‘Health workers do not just need a more militant leadership, however, but an alternative political perspective.’
    • ‘Some delegates expressed anger over their union leaders' failure to call national, militant action over both privatisation and low pay.’
    aggressive, violent, belligerent, bellicose, assertive, pushy, vigorous, forceful, active, ultra-active, fierce, combative, pugnacious
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noun

  • A militant person.

    ‘militants became increasingly impatient of parliamentary manoeuvres’
    • ‘An army spokeswoman said troops had caught up with another militant who had fled the scene of the attack and killed him.’
    • ‘In the ensuing gun battle one foreign militant was killed.’
    • ‘Northern Ireland's most notorious Protestant militant is back in jail.’
    • ‘Some militants become active late in life, others at an early age.’
    • ‘In the ensuing gun battle one militant was shot dead while his accomplice managed to slip into the other side.’
    • ‘During the raid, the troops captured another militant in the apartment.’
    activist, extremist, radical, enthusiast, supporter, follower, devotee, young turk, zealot, fanatic, sectarian, partisan
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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘engaged in warfare’): from Old French, or from Latin militant- ‘serving as a soldier’, from the verb militare (see militate). The current sense dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation

militant

/ˈmɪlɪt(ə)nt/