in·​fan·​try | \ˈin-fən-trē \
plural infantries

Definition of infantry 

1a : soldiers trained, armed, and equipped to fight on foot

b : a branch of an army composed of these soldiers

2 : an infantry regiment or division

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Did You Know?

The Italian word fante (from Latin infans, “infant, child”) originally meant “child,” later “youth, boy,” and then “servant.” In the 14th century, fante also took on the sense “foot soldier.” In Renaissance times, the fanteria, foot soldiers collectively, became a significant branch of arms, and the Italian word infanteria, was borrowed into English in the 1500s.

Examples of infantry in a Sentence

He joined the infantry after leaving school.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Army and Marine Corps have acknowledged that the number of women seeking infantry jobs will probably be small. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "Mattis: Jury is out on women succeeding in combat jobs," 26 Sep. 2018 Lancers fire anti-armor rockets that are great for taking out tanks but are too inaccurate to use against infantry. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Valkyria Chronicles 4 review: Same as it ever was," 21 Sep. 2018 The Guards are part of five infantry regiments (the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards) and two regiments of the Household Cavalry (the Life Guards and Blues and Royals), according to the Post. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Here's What Happens When You Get in the Way of a Queen's Guard," 25 July 2018 The results will be implemented across all Marine infantry units, with a completion date of roughly 2024. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marine Corps Is Changing the Way It Does Business To Win the Battles of 2025," 15 May 2018 Fort Rosecrans had four companies of 57 men each in the line, and the infantry was represented by more than a thousand men., "July 4, 1917: San Diego Honors New Citizens," 4 July 2018 At the encampment, visitors will see infantry, cavalry and artillery units. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Civil War Days event in Lake County shows many sides of the 1860s experience," 20 June 2018 The prestigious badge indicates someone who fought in active ground combat in an infantry, special forces or Ranger unit. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin American Legion official lied about serving in Vietnam," 17 June 2018 About half of its total infantry force of about 70,000 is deployed in the north-east. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infantry.' 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 infantry

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for infantry

Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French infanterie, from Old Italian infanteria, from infante boy, foot soldier, from Latin infant-, infans

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Statistics for infantry

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infantry

The first known use of infantry was in 1579

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More Definitions for infantry



English Language Learners Definition of infantry

: the part of an army that has soldiers who fight on foot


in·​fan·​try | \ˈin-fən-trē \
plural infantries

Kids Definition of infantry

: a branch of an army composed of soldiers trained to fight on foot

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More from Merriam-Webster on infantry

Spanish Central: Translation of infantry

Nglish: Translation of infantry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infantry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about infantry

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