in·​fan·​try | \ ˈin-fən-trē How to pronounce infantry (audio) \
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

Part-time infantry from suburbs and small Massachusetts towns fired into crowds, fixed bayonets against Bostonians, and shot eight people dead over four tumultuous days. Brian Macquarrie,, "When the city was lawless: Recalling the Boston Police Strike of 1919," 7 Sep. 2019 When Ned returns to his childhood home 10 years later (now played by MacKay) with his friend Joe Byrne (Sean Keenan), he's been toughened up by jail and become a formidable bare-knuckle boxer, fighting for the entertainment of toffs and infantry. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'True History of the Kelly Gang': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Musket shots show where infantry held their positions. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Artifacts from the Final Battle of the English Civil War Uncovered During Road Project," 5 Sep. 2019 Helmets Make a Comeback With the widespread introduction of gunpowder in the 16th century, European infantry started ditching their armor. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Century-Long Evolution of the U.S. Army Helmet," 27 June 2019 One of the company’s signature blends is a Brazilian-Ethiopian combination named Buffalo Soldier, in recognition of the all-Black cavalry regiments — 9th and 10st infantries — created after the Civil War in 1866. Steve Zimmerman,, "The dean of beans: Stivers Coffee survives with loyal following, ‘old-school’ roasting," 26 June 2019 Kevin was an infantry soldier in the United States Marine Corps., "Kevin Lamonte Waters," 7 Aug. 2019 Tanks and infantry vehicles will be on static display near the Lincoln Memorial, trucked in to prevent their treads from damaging the streets. CBS News, "Pentagon gives guidance to troops about what to say at July 4th event," 4 July 2019 After the tanks and infantry soldiers were unloaded, Sorenson hit the beach to ferry the wounded back to his ship. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On 75th anniversary of invasion, D-Day veterans recall 'all hell was breaking loose'," 6 June 2019

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

20 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce infantry (audio) \
plural infantries

Kids Definition of infantry

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

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Comments on infantry

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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