minutemen, in the American Revolution, colonial militiamen or armed citizens who agreed to turn out for service at a minute's notice. The term minutemen is used especially for the men who were enrolled (1774) for such service by the Massachusetts provincial congress. These were "the embattled farmers" who fought against the British at Lexington and Concord.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.