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

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Let’s examine the list of conscripts, which is divided up by industry sector. Steven Levy, Wired, "Here's Who Should Really Be Advising Trump on the Economy," 17 Apr. 2020 The officials say that the militants attacked a police checkpoint in the town of Rafah early on Sunday, wounding another two conscripts who were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Washington Post, "Egyptian officials say policeman, militant killed in Sinai," 8 Dec. 2019 Reluctant to put Russian soldiers, many of them conscripts, in the line of fire in Syria, Russia has increasingly relied on mercenaries, scores of whom were killed by U.S. forces in February 2018, before President Trump ordered American troops out. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "After a Face-Off in Syria, Turkey and Russia Try to Pull Back From the Brink," 28 Feb. 2020 Although the draft was abolished in 1973, the Selective Service registration requirement was resumed in 1980, when after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, a capability to conscript was again deemed critical to the national defense. Elliot Ackerman, Time, "Why Bringing Back the Draft Could Stop America’s Forever Wars," 10 Oct. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The huge increase in productive capacity as a result of the Industrial Revolution, starting in the 19th century, made possible large conscript armies that could remain locked in combat for months and then years on end. Margaret Macmillan, WSJ, "The World That War Has Made," 2 Oct. 2020 The Ottomans built the railway with taxes and conscript labor to link their Arab provinces and ferry hajj pilgrims to Mecca. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "History brought to life: Jordanians take a ride on the Hejaz," 1 Oct. 2020 Drivers have resorted to taking over street corners with their trucks, sorting packages on sidewalks as they conscript public space for private industry. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, "Cardboard Jungle: The Other Cost of All Those Packages We Order," 16 May 2020 Across the Bay Area, local governments are racing to conscript public buildings and spaces into the fight against the coronavirus, as health experts brace for a surge of new patients over the next two weeks. Sarah Ravani,, "In SF and across the Bay Area, officials enlist public buildings in fight against the coronavirus," 28 Mar. 2020 The situation is particularly difficult for LGBT people in South Korea’s armed forces, which is one of the shrinking number of militaries that continue to conscript male recruits. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "South Korea’s First Transgender Soldier Might Get Thrown Out of the Military," 22 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Feminist rediscovery risks saving women from obscurity only to conscript them into a reductive triumphal narrative. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Isn’t She Good—For a Woman?," 10 Jan. 2021 Chinese officials then descend on local villages to conscript the workers. Adrian Zenz, WSJ, "Coercion in Xinjiang’s Cotton Fields," 15 Dec. 2020 The system uses Bluetooth technology to tell people when they’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus Californians are now able to conscript their cellphones in the fight against COVID-19. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A user’s guide to CA Notify, the state’s COVID-19 alert system for smartphones," 10 Dec. 2020 On April 27, 1939, the British government announced plans to conscript young men for military training. Daniel Todman, WSJ, "‘1939’ Review: Once More Unto the Breach," 19 June 2020 To do so, PGP plans to conscript the vast but largely silent majority of Americans who support vaccines into any army of keyboard warriors trained to block, hide, and report vaccine misinformation. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Can a Keyboard Crusade Stem the Vaccine Infodemic?," 15 June 2020 Jones conscripted daughter Zenae Lawrence to help too. Amy Scattergood, Los Angeles Times, "This couple turned their taqueria into a food bank," 8 May 2020 When her ailing father is conscripted back into serving the imperial army against the Huns, Mulan disguises herself as a man and takes her dad's place. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "First reactions call Disney's new live-action 'Mulan' 'vibrant' and 'surprisingly sexy'," 11 Mar. 2020 That philosophy continued in 1971, when Congress lowered the voting age to 18 in response to fury over the draft during the Vietnam War, which conscripted thousands of men between 18 and 21 into war. Nicole Daniels, New York Times, "When Do You Become an Adult?," 6 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for conscript Time Traveler

The first known use of conscript was in 1799

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Cite this Entry

“Conscript.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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