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)

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Other Words from enlist

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After two decades of being abused and effectively held prisoner, Gypsy came up with an escape plan, enlisting her boyfriend Nick Godejohn to murder Dee Dee. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of Dee Dee Blanchard's Murder and Gypsy Blanchard's Trial," 3 Apr. 2019 Cue French interior designer Cyril Vergniol, who Macklowe enlisted to furnish two model units on the building’s 22nd floor. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Interior Designer Cyril Vergniol Says Goodbye to Cookie-Cutter Apartments," 8 Mar. 2019 Its largely clandestine publication took from 1751 to 1772 and enlisted the help of many contributors. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 For the latest installment of their #MeAndMyPeekaboo Campaign, Fendi has enlisted the help of J-Pop stars and twin sisters Ami and Aya (or AMIAYA) to show off their favorite versions of the iconic bags. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Fendi Releases #MeAndMyPeekaboo Campaign with Ami and Aya," 5 Nov. 2018 Abrams’ campaign has enlisted celebrities like recording artist John Legend, as well as politicians like U.S. Senators Corey Booker and Kamala Harris. Ben Nadler, The Seattle Times, "Voting access dominates Georgia debate between Abrams, Kemp," 23 Oct. 2018 Fresh off the royal baby news, royal mother-to-be Meghan Markle has reportedly enlisted her closest friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney to join her on the Duchess and Prince Harry's first major international tour. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Jessica Mulroney Is On Royal Tour With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle," 15 Oct. 2018 Since 2008, more than 10,000 people have enlisted through MAVNI. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, "Immigrant abruptly discharged from military says it was like getting "kicked out of your own home"," 6 July 2018 Mueller has enlisted prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington to handle the case. Chris Strohm, chicagotribune.com, "Mueller taps more prosecutors to help with growing Trump probe," 5 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of enlist

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for enlist

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enlist

The first known use of enlist was in 1599

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on enlist

Spanish Central: Translation of enlist

Nglish: Translation of enlist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlist for Arabic Speakers

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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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