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

The book follows two American infantry platoons, a three-man NVA (North Vietnamese Army) combat cell, the staff of the 83rd Surgical Hospital, and the villagers of An-Lat 5., "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 11 Sep. 2019 Concept art shows the system mounted on a Cold War-era BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle chassis with a box launcher holding 12 Brimstone missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Destroyer Concept Is a Tank Battalion’s Worst Nightmare," 5 Sep. 2019 Near Vila Nova Samuel, a jungle infantry brigade accompanied firefighters and agents of the country’s environmental enforcement agency to a brush fire that threatened to consume a wooden shack, the home of farmer Adaa Raauwendaal and his family. Washington Post, "Protect or develop? Amazon fires signal growing pressure," 31 Aug. 2019 Yanks Move In The broadcast said Le Clerc’s first patrols—several Sherman tanks, two infantry sections and a section of engineers—entered the capital just before midnight. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Paris was liberated 75 years ago," 25 Aug. 2019 The battle to take these sites stretched on through the day, causing great losses among the French, who were able to launch successive attacks on the allies’ infantry. National Geographic, "Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo—here’s what went wrong," 15 Aug. 2019 During their mandatory military service, some Israelis tend to shift to the right, at least for a while, and a stint as an instructor in the storied Golani infantry brigade helped Shaked strengthen her conservative political outlook. Sam Sokol,, "How Ayelet Shaked came to dominate the right-wing religious camp in Israel," 7 Aug. 2019 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

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

4 Oct 2019

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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

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