C17: from Latin mīlitātus, from mīlitāre to be a soldier
militate for learners of EnglishPowered by COBUILD (mɪlɪteɪt)
Word forms: militates, militating, militated
To militate against something means to make it less possible or likely. To militate against someone means to prevent them from achieving something. [formal] [V + against] ⇒ Her background militates against her. [V + against] ⇒ We can never promise to sail anywhere in particular, because the weather might militate against it.
There would be a question mark on his record that might militate against promotion in the future.Penn, John UNTO THE GRAVEThis seemed to militate against life; and then I felt, for the first time and not the last, that death at least is straightforward.Hilary Mantel LEARNING TO TALK: SHORT STORIESHer temperament seemed to militate against her becoming the kind of writer she wanted to be.Howker, Janni ISAAC CAMPION