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

The process of conquering my running dream was absolutely the catalyst that changed my life and became the gateway to my dreaming big as a larger woman and athlete. SELF, "6 Tips for Pushing Fear Aside So You Can Finally Reach Your Fitness Goals," 31 Oct. 2018 To get an idea of exactly what's worth paying attention to in Dermstore's Anniversary Sale, our beauty team stockpiled the options, divided, and conquered to narrow down the frankly absurd number of choices. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Dermstore's Anniversary Sale Has So Many Best-Selling Beauty Products Up For Grabs," 10 Aug. 2018 This week, Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid for a new Italian adventure while France returned to another final and Croatia conquered their first one ever, as the Chicago Fire opened the transfer market with a cart full of news. Juan Pimiento,, "Ronaldo's shock transfer, the World Cup semis and the best of the week in soccer," 12 July 2018 When the program began with big promise of conquering the market, private investors flocked to help airlines finance their deals. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Private Equity Makes Leasing Planes a Hot Commodity," 4 July 2018 There are still technologies for FirstNet to conquer. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "FirstNet launches, giving police and firefighters a dedicated wireless network and infinite possibilities," 25 June 2018 With nothing left to conquer or prove, Baffert said life will continue as usual for a high-profile personality with thoroughbred horse racing in his blood. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "2019 Kentucky Derby is already on minds of high-profile trainers," 10 June 2018 The first studio album in seven years by Snow Patrol is beaten out for the U.K. No. 1 spot by the all-conquering The Greatest Showman (Atlantic/Warner). Paul Sexton, Billboard, "Snow Patrol's 'Wildness' Denied U.K. No. 1 Album By 'Greatest Showman'," 1 June 2018 Items found in the burials, such as ropes, are radiocarbon dated to between 1400 and 1450, toward the end of the Chimú Empire's rule, before they were conquered by the Incas. Marwa Eltagouri, ajc, "Remains of 140 children found in Peru, pointing to world's largest ancient child sacrifice," 28 Apr. 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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Statistics for conquer

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

What made you want to look up conquer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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