verb con·quer \ˈkäŋ-kər\

Definition of conquer




play \ˈkäŋ-k(ə-)riŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to gain or acquire by force of arms :  subjugate conquer territory

  3. 2 :  to overcome by force of arms :  vanquish conquered the enemy

  4. 3 :  to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition conquered the mountain

  5. 4 :  to overcome by mental or moral power :  surmount conquered her fear

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  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 Bullock, quoted in Playboy, September 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 Clavell, Gai-Jin, (1993) 1994

  3. 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

  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 Atwood, Survival, 1972

  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




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

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

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lethargy or dullness

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