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

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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

Sports forces us to believe in ourselves, be optimistic and conquer our fears. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "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 This downsized version of Uber’s self-driving program reflects the extent to which the company’s had to reassess its grand plan to conquer urban transportation with robot taxis after the crash in Tempe. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber’s self-driving cars return to public roads for the first time since fatal crash," 20 Dec. 2018 The Matterhorn's sheer western face wasn't conquered until 1962. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Part of the Alps' Matterhorn Is in Africa," 23 July 2018 Tesla’s Elon Musk has long wanted to conquer the mass market, and the Model 3 launched last year took him a step in that direction. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Cadillac, Tesla and the Long Road to Cheap Electric Vehicles," 14 Jan. 2019 Science fiction typically portrays aliens either as evil forces looking to conquer Earth or as benevolent beings helping humans along the path to enlightenment. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 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

14 May 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

conquer

verb

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.

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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

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