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

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Synonyms for conscript

Synonyms: Noun

draftee, inductee, selectee

Synonyms: Verb

conscribe, draft, levy

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Examples of conscript in a Sentence


as the war continued, the body of enlisted soldiers was supplemented by an increasing number of conscripts


The government is conscripting men for the army. He was conscripted into the army.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Americans in the fall had often faced poorly trained Bolshevik conscripts. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 An attack on a military base, Rubin argued, would hit Syrian conscripts rather than the country's leadership. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Can Trump actually stop chemical weapons attacks in Syria? We asked two experts.," 11 Apr. 2018 That cost falls on the conscripts, who aren’t compensated fairly for the risks and opportunity costs of serving in the military. David R. Henderson, WSJ, "Chicago’s Lesser-Known Free Marketeer," 13 Jan. 2019 And while Europeans may have only counted their African conscripts and calculated their value as tools, one image, a handwritten ledger, lists causes of death—typhus, blackwater fever, mauled by a lion—along with their names. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Head & the Load’ and ‘Greek’ Reviews," 10 Dec. 2018 This year is an election year, and the Kremlin can ill afford large numbers of its young conscripts returning in body bags. Andrew S. Bowen, Washington Post, "The U.S. will send antitank weaponry to Ukraine. Here are 4 big questions.," 2 Feb. 2018 And for many guys here, the gateway to face serums and 10-step skin-care regimens is their time as military conscripts. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "The Secret to Surviving Military Service: Moisturizer, Foam Cleanser, Cucumber Face Mask," 23 Aug. 2018 Most of the 3,800 car-factory workers, tax attorneys, farm laborers, shopkeepers and other conscripts who filled its ranks hailed from Michigan. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 The say the blast, which took place on Sunday on a road just south of the coastal city of el-Arish city, also wounded four conscripts. Ashraf Sweilam, The Seattle Times, "Egypt officials: Car bomb kills officer, wounds 4 in Sinai," 20 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

Pragmatic choices like this one, or like the decision his grandparents made when their sons were conscripted, recur in his fiction—situations that present equally unconscionable choices on either side of a moral fulcrum. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 Schwarzenegger first learned to drive a tank in Austria in the 1960s, when he was conscripted into the Austrian Army. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Crush a Limo With His Own Tank," 30 July 2018 When the civil war resumed, after the Second World War, both sides conscripted men. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 Today, George Washington has been conscripted into the culture wars over the religious underpinnings of this country. Sam Wineburg, Smithsonian, "What George Washington’s Views on Religion and America Don’t Translate Well to Today’s Politics," 12 June 2019 Rebel and state armies alike conscripted farm laborers who joined refugees in spreading disease. Dagomar Degroot, Washington Post, "Some places flourished in the Little Ice Age. There are lessons for us now.," 19 Feb. 2018 Typically, coal is used to supply whatever power can’t be generated through these means, and because renewables like solar and wind can fluctuate, coal plants are often conscripted to meet goals. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Britain Went an Entire Week Without Burning Coal," 10 May 2019 This spring like every spring, tens of thousands of 21-year-old men are subjected to a lottery to determine who will be conscripted into the country’s armed forces. James Hookway, WSJ, "Thailand’s Annual Draft Highlights Growing Unease Over Military Rule," 18 Apr. 2019 Most Jewish Israelis are conscripted for mandatory military service at 18 for a period of at least two years, and receive at least some formal firearms training. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Is Israel a Model When It Comes to Guns, as Mike Huckabee Says?," 20 Feb. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for conscript

Last Updated

1 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conscript

The first known use of conscript was in 1799

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More Definitions for conscript



English Language Learners Definition of conscript

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



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

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

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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).


something desired as essential

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