con·​script | \ ˈkän-ˌskript How to pronounce conscript (audio) \

Definition of conscript

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a conscripted person (such as a military recruit)


con·​script | \ ˈkän-ˌskript How to pronounce conscript (audio) \

Definition of conscript (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : enrolled into service by compulsion : drafted
2 : made up of conscripted persons


con·​script | \ kən-ˈskript How to pronounce conscript (audio) \
conscripted; conscripting; conscripts

Definition of conscript (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to enroll into service by compulsion : draft was conscripted into the army

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for conscript

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of conscript in a Sentence

Noun as the war continued, the body of enlisted soldiers was supplemented by an increasing number of conscripts Verb The government is conscripting men for the army. He was conscripted into the army.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So the force has been downsizing, stressing technically proficient volunteers over conscripts who tend to come from poorer areas with less education. Brad Lendon And Michelle Lim, CNN, "Here's what happens when you quit the Chinese military," 16 Dec. 2019 Their favourite recruits are said to be Cubans, who typically have military training (as conscripts in the Cuban army). The Economist, "Trump builds a bureaucratic wall to keep out migrants," 18 July 2019 In Switzerland, the heat wave also coincided with the first weeks of basic training for the country’s new military conscripts. Washington Post, "Melting autobahns, jaguars in pools, naked men on scooters. Europe faces an early summer ‘inferno’," 27 June 2019 This was eventually deemed a rather slender thread to justify the dispatch of over 500,000, and ultimately a total of nearly 2 million, conscripts to a combat zone where 58,000 Americans would die. Conrad Black, National Review, "Richard Nixon’s ‘Silent Majority’ Plan," 5 Nov. 2019 None of the dozen conscripts were seriously injured, an army spokesman told the Helsinki Times. Fox News, "Reindeer accident hospitalizes 12 Finnish soldiers in Lapland," 11 Sep. 2019 Clues pointed to the role of sweets: Orphans in childrens' homes too poor to provide sweets had fewer cavities than the general population; dental decay among conscripts declined during sugar rationing in WWI. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The Swedish cavity experiments: How dentists rotted the teeth of kids with mental handicaps to study candy's effect," 30 Oct. 2019 The four young Eritreans described their life as part-time soccer players and part-time military conscripts, where they were required to build roads, guard buildings and follow the army’s whims. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Eritrean soccer players who defected say they live in fear," 12 Oct. 2019 Unemployment is at its lowest percentage since the Lyndon Johnson administration more than 50 years ago (and the numbers then were helped by having 545,000 conscripts in Vietnam). Conrad Black, National Review, "Trump’s Economic Triumph," 26 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Others are forced to serve after failing to convince conscript officials of their identity. New York Times, "South Korea Discharges Soldier Who Underwent Sex-Change Surgery," 22 Jan. 2020 The Tumin story seems quaint in the era of social media and smartphone videos, especially as our prurient obsessions increasingly conscript private and unprivileged individuals for national scolding. James Panero, WSJ, "Where’s the Mercy in ‘Social Justice’?," 23 Jan. 2019 Their command-and-conscript regime would have forced states to close coal plants with years of remaining useful life and before alternatives could compensate for the lost power supply. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Not the Climate Apocalypse," 21 Aug. 2018 The rank-and-file in the new conscript army were brutalised. The Economist, "Why modern Japan’s founding moment still divides a nation," 11 Jan. 2018 Thai police have accused ten soldiers of beating a 22-year-old army conscript to death in a military prison. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Drafted! Photos of Thailand’s annual military draft lottery," 5 Apr. 2017 Syria’s large Sunni majority dominates the insurgency, and also the army conscript pool. Anne Barnard And Hwaida Saad, New York Times, "Syrian Officer Gave a View of War. ISIS Came, and Silence Followed.," 14 Feb. 2016 Under the conscript system, all eligible men are required to serve about two years. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "South Korea Military Is Accused of Cracking Down on Gay Soldiers," 26 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her ancestors were conscripted from what is now Sudan to fight in World War I, and were then resettled to Nairobi by the British empire, over a hundred years ago. Wired Opinion, Wired, "Digital IDs Make Systemic Bias Worse," 5 Feb. 2020 In Asia, Thailand is the only country to permit transgender soldiers, many of whom are conscripted in an annual draft. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "South Korea’s First Transgender Soldier Might Get Thrown Out of the Military," 22 Jan. 2020 Escalating hostilities with Iran are more likely to affect military forces already in the Middle East region, Sullivan said, not civilians who might be conscripted in a hypothetical draft. Anchorage Daily News, "Did you get ‘drafted’ by the Army via text message? It’s a hoax.," 9 Jan. 2020 In some cases, the Iranian government pays hackers to conduct such attacks, Hultquist said; in others, the hacks come from people conscripted by Iran for government service. Mihir Zaveri,, "Government website is hacked with pro-Iran messages," 6 Jan. 2020 Built during the reign of Ptolemy V and dedicated to a river god, Esna’s temple was conscripted by the Romans and then abandoned. Michelle Green, New York Times, "A Nile Journey Guided by 19th-Century Women," 11 Nov. 2019 Ma's study of 3,000 adult men found that 72% of men aged in their 20s think that the male-only draft is a form of gender discrimination, and almost 65% believe that women should also be conscripted. Jake Kwon, CNN, "South Korea's young men are fighting back against feminism," 21 Sep. 2019 More than two million people have fled their homes, tens of thousands have been killed and many more injured, abducted and conscripted to join the fight. Dionne Searcey, New York Times, "Boko Haram Is Back. With Better Drones.," 13 Sep. 2019 There’s the Japanese government, which colonized Korea in 1910 and conscripted hundreds of thousands of Koreans to serve its war effort at the height of World War II. Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, "Japan, Korea and the messy question of how to pay for historic wrongs," 17 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conscript.' 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 conscript


1799, in the meaning defined above


1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1813, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conscript


alteration of French conscrit, from Latin conscriptus, past participle of conscribere to enroll, enlist, from com- + scribere to write — more at scribe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conscript

Time Traveler for conscript

Time Traveler

The first known use of conscript was in 1799

See more words from the same year

Statistics for conscript

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conscript.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conscript


How to pronounce conscript (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conscript

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is forced to serve in the armed forces


How to pronounce conscript (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conscript (Entry 2 of 2)

: to force (someone) to serve in the armed forces

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conscript

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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