Definition of militate in US English:

militate

verb

[no object]militate against
  • (of a fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing.

    ‘these fundamental differences will militate against the two communities coming together’
    • ‘Two factors militate against quick adjustments.’
    • ‘There were no special circumstances that would militate against prompt registration.’
    • ‘Further, there are in my judgment a number of factors which militate against the exercise of discretion to order an assessment.’
    • ‘However, there are several factors in the present case which militate against any retroactive spousal support.’
    • ‘The problem with this cheerful notion is that circumstances militate against nature in the big city.’
    • ‘We will therefore next examine some impacts of the Shinkansen on Japanese society and discuss changing circumstances which militate against the original ambitious plan.’
    • ‘Three facts, however, militate against this possibility.’
    • ‘Yet despite calls for increased quality, there are institutional and economic factors that militate against it.’
    • ‘There may also be factors which militate against the duty to give reasons.’
    • ‘There are, however, powerful political forces that militate against any enduring settlement.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They note that smoking is a major health problem among forensic psychiatric inpatients, and that a range of factors militate against effective interventions.’
    • ‘Of course, several circumstances militated against that happening.’
    • ‘There are other significant differences, which militate against any viable agreement.’
    • ‘There are some other small details militating against the jogging hypothesis.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘In fact, the words of section 118 militate against that.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, however, several factors militate against the fulfillment of these possibilities in modern Islam.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These factors can militate against researching and introducing new technologies.’
    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
    View synonyms

Usage

The verbs militate and mitigate are sometimes confused. See mitigate

Origin

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

Pronunciation

militate

/ˈmɪləˌteɪt//ˈmiləˌtāt/