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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Within months, the onetime Army infantry radio operator ended up in the intensive care unit at a nearby private hospital, Stanford ValleyCare. USA TODAY, "Secret VA nursing home ratings hide poor quality care from the public," 17 June 2018 Amid their many capacities, none of the current or planned U.S. infantry robots is armed—yet. Bloomberg, Fortune, "The U.S. Army Is Planning New, More Complex Battlefield Robots," 18 May 2018 The Army is massively revving up its fleet of Bradley Fighting Vehicles through a recent deal to add up to 473 of the new infantry carriers, service officials said. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Army makes massive Bradley buy - up to 473 vehicles to prep for major power war," 27 June 2018 The pilot scheme will cover a few dozen armored infantry transports (Bradley M2A3s) deployed in active service. James Vincent, The Verge, "The US Army is using machine learning to predict when combat vehicles need repair," 26 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about infantry

Statistics for infantry

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infantry

The first known use of infantry was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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