en·list | \ in-ˈlist , 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, en-, -ˈli-stē \ noun
enlistment \in-ˈlis(t)-mənt, 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

Ray enlisted in the Navy during World War II, and served on an LCS in the Pacific. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/1," 1 July 2018 Bob Seger came in a few times and got enlisted to help cook in the kitchen. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Tavern always on the rocks serves nostalgia with a twist," 18 June 2018 Pruitt enlisted aides on multiple occasions to help line up work for his wife, Marlyn Pruitt -- an effort that included contacting the chief executive of Chick-fil-A Inc. in pursuit of a chicken sandwich franchise. Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Says He’s ‘Not Happy’ With EPA’s Pruitt Amid Ethics Scandals," 15 June 2018 To help her out, Becca enlisted arguably one of the strongest, albeit controversial, couples to emerge from the franchise: Former 'Bachelorette' Rachel Lindsay and her fiancé, not Peter Krauss Bryan Abasolo. Mallorie Sullivan, Cincinnati.com, "'The Bachelorette' recap episode 2: Becca second-guesses Colton after shocking confession," 4 June 2018 As word spread through the golf world about the small Louisville business making high-quality leather and canvas products, Jacoby enlisted the help of his daughter and several other employees to help with the increasing work load. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "This small Louisville leather shop makes golf bags for the president," 31 May 2018 In the Dark, about a blind woman who's the only witness to the murder of her drug-dealing friend and enlists her dog, Pretzel, to help find the killer. Gary Levin, USA TODAY, "CW plots remakes of 'Charmed,' 'Roswell,' and renews 'iZombie'," 11 May 2018 Gaston de Cardenas El Nuevo Herald Prosecutors say Marin enlisted Gandulla and Isaac, through Vila, to help him murder Salazar. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "MMA fighter called The Exorcist can't shake demons, jailed in gruesome murder case | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 Earlier this month, news leaked that Broidy had impregnated a former Playboy model and enlisted Trump laywer Michael Cohen to help buy her silence. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "How Mike Pence is trying to save California Republicans | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Apr. 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

12 Sep 2018

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 \
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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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