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Last updated at 16:04 GMT, Wednesday, 03 March 2010

News Words: Militant


The BBC's Clare Arthurs looks at some of the words and phrases often used in the news and their meanings in various contexts.

This week: militant


Clare Arthurs on: militant

Related vocabulary

the military

the official armed forces of a country such as the army, navy and air force

a militia

an group of civilians acting as an unofficial army

A challenge for you

The word militant doesn't always refer to violent and political acts. There are some everyday situations that make people act in a militant way. Are there any daily annoyances in your life that would encourage you to challenge authority?

Send us your short 'news story' on this topic and don't forget to use the word 'militant'.

We'll publish our favourites on this page.

This topic has now closed. Thanks for all your comments.

Erzsó, Hungary
Well, in my country the rate of unemployment is becoming higher and higher day by day due to recent economic crisis. Being a well qualified expert with two college diplomas I am unable to find a well paid job in my hometown. As I do not want to be a burden on the state, and I do not apply for unemployment benefit I started to have private students. I earn a nice sum of money with this, however the thing I do is considered black labour which is against the low. If authorities caught me, I would have to pay an enormous amount of fine. I find this absolutely unfair, as I am not able to find legal a job. In this way I am militant, however I don't want to be.

Misako, Japan
I do not think it is justifiable to use weapons and violence to achieve their goals even which is supposed to be good. 'Militant' this word reminds me recent attacks from militant anti-whaling NGO to whaling ships of Japan. We should get over problems by talking with each other rather than attacking part of involved people. Militant way can stimulate people's antipathy unnecessarily and make solution more difficult. This is not good outcome to militant as well.

Carmelo, Italy
In continental Europe, we often use the noun "militant" with reference to a person who is active in politics, being a member of a party. In Italy, for instance, we used to have "Socialist militants", as in this sentence: "My father was a Socialist militant".

Uttam, Nepal
These days The violation and crimes are raising significantly arround the world and though, some of the particular country has enormous chain of "MILLITANT GROUP".I call it 'Blind beliefs'.They just go for killing the innocent people to put the pressure on the government to fulfill their demands.Ofcourse, it is not a right way that is hurting the huge number of people.Militancy is not a better idea to keep your criminal group safe or your country as well.

Margani, Sudan
sometimes,the conflict between groups ofdifrent identity,or between farmers and shepherds,or tribal conflict,are leading the mentioned groups to militant themselves against eachother,in the abcense of the official militaryforce.

A.Sattar, UK
Today, most of the people uses the world militant as those hold aggressive behavior. In the past the meaning of term militant was soldier. some use the word militant in the context of terrorism.In most of the countries in the world, today, there are militant organizations which have militants which are engage in violence. However, the word militant can be use for positive manner. Everybody is a militant if he is fighting for a positive cause. If someone is fighting against poverty,he is a soldier(militant).Those militants which have negative cause and attitude will never acceptable in our world.

In Indonesa, militant is a word that is related with radical islamic group. But for me, militant is an only way to protect our rights. Without a militant action, we cannot uphold our way of life because the majority tends to insist their mainstream notion to the whole society.

Nunzio Italy
In Italy it is common to use militant also with reference to religion , mainly the Catholic one. In fact when we talk about some practising who are very hard in their faith, not open to any compromise, we call them "Catholic militant", an interesting parallel between religion and politics.

Tienhoa, Singapore
In addition to the meaning of using strong or violent action to change current politics or society of the word "militant". In my opinion, its meaning is also to refer to other illegal actions such as nepotism, crime, cheating etc.

Juan, Venezuela
I think that Militant are peoples who believe in something and they make things for it.Everybody would are militant for an idea or thought, the problem is when this thought is violent and offend and atack the life the others peoples.

Tienhoa, Vietnam
In our life, some people use militant ways to archive their own purposes such as nepotism, crime, cheating in an exam etc. We are not expecting to remove such the actions completely that only reducing them as low as we could, aiming to create a society equally and fairly for all people.

Nelly, Argentina
We may be militant for human rights, for avoidance of nuclear weapons all around the world, for green revolution but in the other hand some people would be violent militants below the umbrella of "defending national teritories" or "defending national identity"That is human nature

Nuri, Turkmenistan
Hollo my dear fernds. My english not very good bur I tray to share my opinion.It's danger subject but we can't to close our eyes in this occurrence. It's all as problem end we should to solve all together. Firstly we shoul tray to understand the problem. We are thinking only our side we also we shoul think this subject wiht theirs side. Just a one minute imagen your dear mather, brother. sister killed from power countrys soldier for what for nothing.What will you do? I don't want to say theirs activity right. Maybe they don't have any alternative from than.What meaning to live If all family killed for nothing. We are speaking all time about human rights. We shoul give them live in own country with own family. Our responsibility to help them. If we have dream to live safety world. We shoul to give our extra educatinal charity association not to for weight loss drug. If I to hurt someone I'm sorry.I wish everyone help to make safety our world. Happy day.

Andrea, Italy
What about a pacifist militant? Or a human rights militant? It could seems a sort of paradox, but these kind of activists are often strongly determined in doing much more than simple expressing their ideas for a better world. Even if they refuse using any kind of violence, often it is necessary to take concrete action to stop someone else violent acting, using the so called passive resistance.

Hiep, Vietnam
In the past,nearly people fighted for freedom of their country from other conquest of other countries. But today appearing more militants are trying to fight for getting better social welfares,wages or environmental protection.

Gustavo, Brazil
I am a pacific militant! I've fought for cannabis liberation! In my opnion we can use cannabis for many things such as tea, papers, clothes, remedies and etc. Here in brazil we discuss about cannabis liberation just on streets. I'd like to see this discussion on our congress.Thanks.

Moritz, Germany
We all are in a militant circle. First terrorists attacked our world in a militant way, than several countrys reacted in a quite similar manner. Now every one of us has to fight not to be seen as a militant person by his or her own government.

Amado, Spain
I am not sure, but I suppose that "militant" also can be used to call the supporters of a sport team ("Liverpool militants", for example). We can also talk about "violent militants" or "pacific militants".

Selina, China
If corruption happens in the authority, I would be militant to challenge it. Every so often, if people who want to get a prized job from government, people might bribe to get oppotunity in advance. Even though corruption is annoying, it still happens in many situations and many countries, even at the high level. In my situation, I never complain about our authority, because our country can't be sucessful without present government.

Eric, China
It's hard to say that what exactly militant is. I think promoting self by fighting or destroying others is not a right way. You can believe in anything but the bottom line is - don't offend others. We suffer too much from nature disaster, and the same time we also experience violence we make. Obviously we don't learn much form that. PUT DOWN THE WEAPON, MAKE US BETTER TOGETHER.

Jose Daniel, Venezuela
I think Militants are persons who belief in some cause or reason. They indentify with the objectives and goals of their organization. Some times their reasons are political, religious, philosophic, or another reasons. They consider it is totally true and they should fight and defend those reasons, include with them died. Even for them it does not matter if somebody else considers their reason false or dangerous, they only defensd that. We know the news about militants of terrorist attacks such as in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Israel, Somali, etc., where their attacks claim many innocents lives. Is necessary stop these violent groups because they are always planning attacks against different countries which they consider them enemies. Militants methods are cruel and sanguinary, one example of it is a terrible September 11 where died a lot of people. Same was London and Madrid attacks.


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