Definition of militate in English:



  • (of a fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing.

    ‘these fundamental differences will militate against the two communities coming together’
    • ‘There are some other small details militating against the jogging hypothesis.’
    • ‘The problem with this cheerful notion is that circumstances militate against nature in the big city.’
    • ‘However, there are several factors in the present case which militate against any retroactive spousal support.’
    • ‘Yet despite calls for increased quality, there are institutional and economic factors that militate against it.’
    • ‘In fact, the words of section 118 militate against that.’
    • ‘These factors can militate against researching and introducing new technologies.’
    • ‘Three facts, however, militate against this possibility.’
    • ‘Two factors militate against quick adjustments.’
    • ‘Have the international community played a positive role or have they in fact militated against the development plans through the so called International Development Assistance agencies?’
    • ‘The limitations discussed above, together with the shortness and simplicity of the musical phrases militate against any level of complexity of organisation of the musical material.’
    • ‘Of course, several circumstances militated against that happening.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, however, several factors militate against the fulfillment of these possibilities in modern Islam.’
    • ‘There may also be factors which militate against the duty to give reasons.’
    • ‘We will therefore next examine some impacts of the Shinkansen on Japanese society and discuss changing circumstances which militate against the original ambitious plan.’
    • ‘There are, however, powerful political forces that militate against any enduring settlement.’
    • ‘They note that smoking is a major health problem among forensic psychiatric inpatients, and that a range of factors militate against effective interventions.’
    • ‘The example of Steele's drama suggests that the creation of new forms is readily possible, but that powerful traditions militate against too much change.’
    • ‘Further, there are in my judgment a number of factors which militate against the exercise of discretion to order an assessment.’
    • ‘There were no special circumstances that would militate against prompt registration.’
    • ‘There are other significant differences, which militate against any viable agreement.’
    tend to prevent, work against, resist, hinder, discourage, oppose, counter, cancel out, foil, prejudice, go against, operate against, tell against, be detrimental to, be disadvantageous to
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The verbs militate and mitigate are sometimes confused. See mitigate


Late 16th century: from Latin militat- served as a soldier from the verb militare, from miles, milit- soldier.