Origins – War

Militate derives from militis, one of the forms of the Latin noun meaning soldier or fighting man. If something militates against you, it fights against you, i.e., works to your disadvantage. Thus, your timidity may militate against your keeping your friends. (Militate is always followed by the preposition against and, like obviate, never takes a personal subject – you don’t militate against anyone, but some habit, action, tendency, etc. militates against someone or something.).
The adjective militant comes from the same root. A militant reformer is one who fights for reforms; a militant campaign is one waged aggressively and with determination. The noun is militancy, and militant is also a noun for the person – ‘ Sally is a militant in the Women’s Liberation movement’.
Military and militia also have their origin in militis.
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