verb con·quer \ ˈkäŋ-kər \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of conquer

conquered; conquering play \ˈkäŋ-k(ə-)riŋ\
1 : to gain or acquire by force of arms : subjugate
  • conquer territory
2 : to overcome by force of arms : vanquish
  • conquered the enemy
3 : to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition
  • conquered the mountain
4 : to overcome by mental or moral power : surmount
  • conquered her fear
: to be victorious


play \ˈkäŋ-kər-ər\ noun

Examples of conquer in a Sentence

  1. And my girlfriends are really strong, feminine women—yet we can all be girls together. Some days we just have to go out and shop, get a massage …  . The next day we want to conquer the world and start our own company. —Sandra Bullockquoted in PlayboySeptember 1995
  2. After her initial passionate prayer of thanks for the strength to conquer her vast disappointment, she stayed on her knees, the hassock comfortable … —James ClavellGai-Jin(1993) 1994
  3. It used to be that men "conquered" mountains in a cacophony of gratuitous chest-thumping. —Tim CahillNew York Times Book Review10 June 1990
  4. But however vile the movie, the sentiments it embodies are (as they say) American as apple pie: the west was something to be conquered and claimed. —Margaret AtwoodSurvival1972
  5. The city was conquered by the ancient Romans.

  6. They conquered all their enemies.

  7. He finally conquered his drug habit.

  8. Scientists believe the disease can be conquered.

Recent Examples of conquer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conquer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of conquer

Middle English, to acquire, conquer, from Anglo-French conquerre, from Vulgar Latin *conquaerere, alteration of Latin conquirere to search for, collect, from com- + quaerere to ask, search

Synonym Discussion of conquer

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of.
    • Caesar conquered Gaul
vanquish implies a complete overpowering.
    • vanquished the enemy and ended the war
defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals.
    • the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas
subdue implies a defeating and suppression.
    • subdued the native tribes after years of fighting
reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.
    • the city was reduced after a month-long siege
overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.
    • overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks
overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.
    • violently overthrew the old regime

CONQUER Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of conquer for English Language Learners

  • : to take control of (a country, city, etc.) through the use of force

  • : to defeat (someone or something) through the use of force

  • : to gain control of (a problem or difficulty) through great effort

CONQUER Defined for Kids


verb con·quer \ ˈkäŋ-kər \

Definition of conquer for Students

conquered; conquering
1 : to get or gain by force : win by fighting
2 : overcome 1
  • She worked hard to conquer her fears.

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