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

draftee, inductee, selectee

Synonyms: Verb

conscribe, draft, levy

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

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 Jünger, having been conscripted into his old regiment, shared in the conquest of his old French battlegrounds. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘A German Officer in Occupied Paris’ Review: A Very Refined Occupation," 15 Feb. 2019 Auditors travelled to Nevada, rummaged through his garbage, conscripted his estranged family to testify against him, and leaked his Social Security number and other private information to the press. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A California-Nevada Tax Brawl," 8 Jan. 2019 Some of those left out have waged a long legal battle against both the Korean government and the Japanese companies that used conscripted labor. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Forced-Labor Dispute Strains Japan-South Korea Relations," 12 Jan. 2019 Thousands of people have been kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters, who are known to ransack villages and kill men and boys who refuse to join their ranks, conscripting others into the fight. Dionne Searcey, New York Times, "Boko Haram Video Is Said to Show Captured Girls From Chibok," 15 Jan. 2018 League follows two sisters (Geena Davis and Lori Petty) who join a women’s baseball league during the heart of World War II, when many men in professional leagues were conscripted into the armed forces. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Penny Marshall’s groundbreaking directing career, explained in 3 movies," 18 Dec. 2018 The back seats are fully usable for real adults, with none of the feeling that you’ve been conscripted into a bobsled team. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Ferrari "Family Car" Still Spits Fire," 24 Aug. 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.

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

Statistics for conscript

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conscript

The first known use of conscript was in 1799

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

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!