con·quer | \ ˈkäŋ-kər \
conquered; conquering\ˈkäŋ-k(ə-)riŋ \

Definition of conquer 

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to be victorious

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Other words from conquer

conqueror \ˈkäŋ-kər-ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of conquer in a Sentence

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 Bullock, quoted in Playboy, September 1995 After her initial passionate prayer of thanks for the strength to conquer her vast disappointment, she stayed on her knees, the hassock comfortable … —James Clavell, Gai-Jin, (1993) 1994 It used to be that men "conquered" mountains in a cacophony of gratuitous chest-thumping. —Tim Cahill, New York Times Book Review, 10 June 1990 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 Atwood, Survival, 1972 The city was conquered by the ancient Romans. They conquered all their enemies. He finally conquered his drug habit. Scientists believe the disease can be conquered.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This team has already conquered that obstacle, winning its round of 16 game on PKs. Kevin Baxter,, "England reaches semifinals after beating Sweden, 2-0," 7 July 2018 Group B seems destined for Spain and reigning European champions Portugal to conquer it, while Morocco and Iran are waiting to produce the great surprise, an usual occurrence in World Cup history. José Luis Sánchez Pando,, "2018 World Cup Group B: An affair of two," 23 May 2018 Lyman used the word conquered three times, then walked off to applause. Abe Streep, Outside Online, "The Tribes v. Donald Trump," 1 May 2018 But every year, plenty of people prove my stubborn mind wrong in chasing that goal and conquering it. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spring race season has arrived. If you want to get started, here's advice from a running expert," 28 Mar. 2018 Despite such historical accounts, some Poles have long resented any association between their country and the Nazis who conquered it. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Polish leader denies being a Holocaust revisionist after blaming ‘Jewish perpetrators’," 18 Feb. 2018 Here, a look back at the model camps who once ruled the runways—and the new group of women who are conquering it now. Monica Kim, Vogue, "5 Model Camps That Ruled the Runways, From the Brazilians to the Social Media Stars of Today," 9 Feb. 2018 During the 15th century, the Tlahuica people were conquered by the Aztecs, who, in turn, took over construction of the Teopanzolco pyramids. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Earthquake Reveals 12th-Century Temple Hidden Within Aztec Pyramid," 12 July 2018 With cases of product in his trunk, DeJoria personally conquered the country’s salons, one by one. Andrew Goldman, Town & Country, "John Paul Dejoria's Philanthropy Makes the Case That Tequila and Shampoo Might Save the World," 29 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of conquer

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Phrases Related to conquer

divide and conquer

Statistics for conquer

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for conquer

The first known use of conquer was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for conquer



English Language Learners Definition of conquer

: 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


con·quer | \ ˈkäŋ-kər \
conquered; conquering

Kids Definition of conquer

1 : to get or gain by force : win by fighting

2 : overcome sense 1 She worked hard to conquer her fears.

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Comments on conquer

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a magnificent or impressive array

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