en·​list | \ in-ˈlist How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en- \
enlisted; enlisting; enlists

Definition of enlist

transitive verb

1a : to secure the support and aid of : employ in advancing an interest enlist all the available resources enlisted our help
b : to win over : attract trying to enlist my sympathies
2 : to engage (a person) for duty in the armed forces

intransitive verb

1 : to enroll oneself in the armed forces will enlist for three years
2 : to participate heartily (as in a cause, drive, or crusade)

Other Words from enlist

enlistee \ in-​ˌli-​ˈstē How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en-​ , -​ˈli-​stē \ noun
enlistment \ in-​ˈlis(t)-​mənt How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enlist



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Examples of enlist in a Sentence

They're enlisting volunteers for an experiment. We enlisted all available resources. I enlisted the help of our neighbors. We enlisted the services of a professional. They enlisted several new recruits. After graduating, I enlisted in the navy. He enlisted in the cause of world peace. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Last fall the Army significantly increased the option to enlist for two years, expanding it to a total of 84 different career fields. Fox News, 13 Jan. 2022 Last fall the Army significantly increased the option to enlist for two years, expanding it to a total of 84 different career fields. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Jan. 2022 Facing a challenging class, Alain decides to enlist his students for a mission to prevent the glacier from melting. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 11 Jan. 2022 After the murders in Imlil, authorities decreed that any foreigners who wanted to walk the Toubkal path would have to enlist a guide, even for short day hikes. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, 29 July 2019 Such efforts to enlist and empower trusted messengers with the knowledge and tools necessary toward having successful vaccine conversations will be essential to increasing booster uptake. Bydr. Jay Bhatt Anddr. Atul Nakhasi, ABC News, 7 Apr. 2022 Early in the war, the Army put a cap on the number of Black soldiers allowed to enlist — no more than 10% of the Armed Forces. Ko Lyn Cheang, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 Under the new rules, transgender people who are qualified to serve must be allowed to enlist. New York Times, 25 Jan. 2021 After the blacklisting of NSO, Hulio sought to enlist Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enlist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of enlist

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enlist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlist. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for enlist


en·​list | \ in-ˈlist How to pronounce enlist (audio) \
enlisted; enlisting

Kids Definition of enlist

1 : to join the armed forces as a volunteer
2 : to get the help of Let's enlist our family in painting the house.

Other Words from enlist

enlistment \ -​mənt \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on enlist

Nglish: Translation of enlist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlist for Arabic Speakers


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