con·​quer | \ ˈkäŋ-kər How to pronounce conquer (audio) \
conquered; conquering\ ˈkäŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce conquering (audio) \

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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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

Last night, Chanel conquered Manhattan in grand style and brought out the likes of Julianne Moore, Margot Robbie, and Penélope Cruz and joining them was philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Bare Legs, the LSD, and a Late-Night Diner Run: Jessica Seinfeld Recaps Her Chanel Métiers d’Art Experience," 5 Dec. 2018 The next day, SpaceX would begin anew in its efforts to conquer the aerospace world. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 Kenwood conquered the lavish looks, many students arriving in Rolls-Royces and Mercedes-Benzes. Christen A. Johnson,, "Rolls-Royces and Gucci: Chicago prom goes high style," 14 June 2018 Mountain: Climbers, tightrope walkers, mountain bikers and others set out to conquer the highest peaks in the world in this documentary. San Francisco Chronicle, "New movies: Shailene Woodley finds herself “Adrift”," 29 May 2018 Sports forces us to believe in ourselves, be optimistic and conquer our fears. Katie Parsons,, "Kids playing sports: Don't focus on single sport too early, experts say," 17 May 2018 Yet from the show’s title, to the cast’s joyful use of in-group lingo, to the way their advice taps the experience of conquering the closet—be yourself, forget gender norms, and work—their magic sure comes off as tied to sexuality. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Queer Eye Opens the Miraculous Gay Wallet," 4 Mar. 2018 This is particularly useful in icy conditions and is in keeping with the character of the TourX, in which all-wheel drive is intended more for conquering inclement weather than off-road trails. Jeff Sabatini, Car and Driver, "2018 Buick Regal TourX," 31 Jan. 2018 Pushing herself to conquer a new expressive medium while subverting stereotypes about the performance sport, Twigs, who is kicking off a new tour in May with a second album on the way, is just getting started on her bold new chapter. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "FKA Twigs Shows Off Impressive Pole-Dancing Skills in a New Music Video," 24 Apr. 2019

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

11 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce conquer (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on conquer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conquer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for conquer

Spanish Central: Translation of conquer

Nglish: Translation of conquer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conquer for Arabic Speakers

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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