con·​script | \ ˈkän-ˌskript \

Definition of conscript

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a conscripted person (such as a military recruit)


con·​script | \ ˈkän-ˌskript \

Definition of conscript (Entry 2 of 3)

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


con·​script | \ kən-ˈskript \
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

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 Since Israel is a small country whose military is largely composed of conscripts, the barrier between the IDF and the civilian world is relatively low. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Israeli Troops Caught Posting Pictures of Classified Hardware," 1 Aug. 2018 Conscription is mandatory for male Swiss citizens, and conscripts can keep their semiautomatic assault rifles at home even after returning to their nonmilitary careers. Washington Post, "Europeans had school shootings, too. Then they did something about it.," 15 Feb. 2018 All its members are conscripts picked for height and posture — and must demonstrate their godliness by belonging to the Orthodox Church of Greece. Washington Post, "Godly giants in kilts: Meet Greece’s best-known soldiers," 24 May 2018 Navy conscripts maneuver through barbed wires during a training session in the southeastern city of Changwon in January. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Court Orders South Korea to Overhaul Hallowed Conscription Law," 28 June 2018 Mr Dhlakama had once before laid down his guns, ending a civil war marked by mass atrocities, child conscripts and 1m deaths between 1977 and 1992. The Economist, "Will Afonso Dhlakama’s death derail peace in Mozambique?," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

But Britain stumbled during the Great War, Mr. Lambert argues, conscripting men into a continental army that overextended Britain while turning its focus away from the sea. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Seapower States’ Review: Ruling Over the Seas," 23 Nov. 2018 More than 19,000 children are documented to have been conscripted into the battle in the last five years alone, according to UNICEF. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Christian ex-child soldier, now hip-hop artist, calls for forgiveness," 21 Sep. 2018 The Tamil Tigers were accused of conscripting child soldiers, holding civilians as human shields and killing those trying to escape from their control. Washington Post, "Sri Lanka marks end to civil war as a divided nation," 21 May 2018 Sixty-eight years ago this month the boy watched, bewildered, as his 19-year-old brother left their home in Seoul to escape invading North Korean soldiers who were conscripting young men just weeks after invading South Korea to start the Korean War. Kim Tong-hyung, Fox News, "'Dream or reality?' Koreans to meet after decades apart," 18 Aug. 2018 Authorities registered them at camps around the capital, and men of fighting age are being conscripted into the Syrian army. Washington Post, "Syrian troops mass around town as rebels refuse to leave," 27 Mar. 2018 And since humans are only required to train the algorithm, the approach could provide researchers a way to analyze hordes of data without conscripting an army of lab technicians to toil away at microscopes in the dark. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "AI Learns a New Trick: Measuring Brain Cells," 12 Apr. 2018 When the Germans occupied Poland, Raizel was conscripted to work, but Sala, shrewd and resourceful, felt her older sister was too bookish to weather the camp and volunteered to take her place. Joseph Berger, New York Times, "Sala Kirschner, 94, Whose Trove of Letters Told of the Holocaust, Dies," 13 Mar. 2018 After the German invasion, Aron’s father was conscripted for a work detail and never seen again. Sam Roberts,, "Kalman Aron; his artistic talent spared him in the Holocaust," 9 Mar. 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

12 Jan 2019

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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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