conquer

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Versatility shows strength through adversity and the ability to conquer in the midst of suppression, a theme Lizzo passionately mentioned in her Billboard Awards speech. Sydney Clarke, refinery29.com, "The Political Message Behind Lizzo’s Fire New Hairstyle," 29 Oct. 2020 Promise that the government had enough liquidity-blasting superpower to conquer any threat, and people would stop running for safer places to put their money. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "The Fed’s $4 Trillion Lifeline Never Materialized. Here’s Why.," 21 Oct. 2020 If that run speaks to Morikawa’s ever-reliable swing, his habit of plopping iron shots near the hole, then his win July 12 at the Workday Charity Open spoke to another vital asset: his ability to conquer disappointment. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "PGA Championship: Cal alum Collin Morikawa rockets into golf’s upper echelon," 4 Aug. 2020 As many as 10 million Japanese might have perished in the attempt to conquer the island. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "The aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb will always inspire debate," 30 July 2020 What counts in life is not the victory, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to conquer, but to fight well. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "LIVE UPDATES: ASU football opens season at No. 20 USC," 7 Nov. 2020 While no one expected Iowa State to conquer the conference, the Cyclones weren’t overlooked as a Big 12 contender. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, "5 things for Baylor fans to know about Iowa State: Cyclones are armed with nation’s second-best rusher," 4 Nov. 2020 James’ character enters the room expecting to conquer her fears but instead is only overwhelmed. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "How filmmakers brought Rebecca's haunting bedroom to life," 21 Oct. 2020 The two friends were soon rooming with other artsy types in the dilapidated apartment building Le Bateau Lavoir, sharing meager meals and boldly setting out to conquer artistic Paris. Washington Post, "Who was Max Jacob? A poet, friend of Picasso and, a new biography shows, a man who defied easy labels," 21 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conquer

Time Traveler for conquer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for conquer

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conquer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conquer. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conquer

conquer

verb
How to pronounce conquer (audio)

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

conquer

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!