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From Latin mīlitia (army, military force/service), from mīles (soldier). Doublet of militsia.

The use of "militia" rather than "police" to refer to the police force (of Belarus and some other countries) originated in the USSR.


  • IPA(key): /məˈlɪʃə/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃə


militia (plural militias or militiae)

  1. An army of trained civilians, which may be an official reserve army, called upon in time of need, the entire able-bodied population of a state which may also be called upon, or a private force not under government control.
  2. Synonym of militsia: the national police force of certain countries (e.g. Belarus).




From mīles (soldier) +‎ -ia.



mīlitia f (genitive mīlitiae); first declension

  1. military service
    • 27 BCE – 25 BCE, Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 26.1:
      huic generī mīlitum senātus eundem, quem Cannēnsibus, fīnem statuērat mīlitiae.
      For this class of soldier the senate had established a limit in duration to their military service, which was the same as the men at Cannae.
  2. the military, army, soldiery
  3. warfare, war, campaign
    domi militiaeque (also domi bellique)in war and peace
  4. civil service, profession, employment
  5. (figuratively) military spirit, courage, bravery


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative mīlitia mīlitiae
Genitive mīlitiae mīlitiārum
Dative mīlitiae mīlitiīs
Accusative mīlitiam mīlitiās
Ablative mīlitiā mīlitiīs
Vocative mīlitia mīlitiae

Related terms[edit]



  • militia”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • militia”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • militia in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • militia in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to take service in the army: militiam (only in the sing.) capessere
    • to try to avoid military service: militiam detrectare, subterfugere
    • to be excused military duty: militiae vacationem habere
    • to retire from service: militia functum, perfunctum esse
  • militia in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016