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)

Keep scrolling for more

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



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The time has come to grant letters of marque to enlist and arm private corporations to defend their interests and America’s. Thomas Ayres, WSJ, "A Maritime Solution for Cyber Piracy," 13 May 2021 Threats, Schnedler noted with a tinge of amusement, that would now also include members of the very party that had tried to enlist his services before. Arthur Holland Michel, Wired, "There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere—and Now They Share a Brain," 4 Feb. 2021 So enlist them, solicit their feedback often, listen closely and remove your ego from it. Rachael Dalton-taggart, Forbes, "Five Tips For Marketing To And Communicating With Engineers," 28 Apr. 2021 Rather, Indian government officials will enlist vaccine development laboratories, including the Serum Institute of India, to make the shots. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Biden administration sending India materials for millions of AstraZeneca vaccines," 26 Apr. 2021 The two questions, the same question, might enlist us into Stoppard’s dazzling quest, as a playwright, for meaning, consciousness, history, and goodness. Andrew O’hagan, The New York Review of Books, "In the Act of Living," 13 Apr. 2021 Adultery is considered a crime in the military; the woman did not re-enlist and was not charged. USA Today, "The National Guard welcomes and promotes women. That is, until they report a sexual assault.," 31 Mar. 2021 Harris will enlist the help of numerous Cabinet members, international organizations and government officials in Mexico and Northern Triangle nations to address the issue. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, "Biden faces press at early pivot point in presidency: The Note," 25 Mar. 2021 And if that's still too difficult, players can enlist a friend to help out in a co-op mode that lets a buddy control support characters that create platforms, protect the protagonist or carry him across obstacles. Star Tribune, "'Ghosts 'n Goblins' arcade game series gets a fittingly tough 'Resurrection'," 17 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of enlist

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enlist

Statistics for enlist

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlist. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enlist



English Language Learners Definition of enlist

: to get the support and help of (someone or something)
: to get (help, support, sympathy, etc.) from someone
: to sign up (a person) for duty in the army, navy, etc.


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

Comments on enlist

What made you want to look up enlist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!