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 Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry, and performed all noncombat support functions that sustain an army. Nancy Clanton, ajc, "7 interesting Black History facts you likely didn’t know," 12 Feb. 2021 The task force also included two brigades of light infantry, including British Army paratroopers, Royal Marine commandos, the Scots and Welsh Guards regiments, and Gurkha troops. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What Really Happened in the Falklands War," 4 Dec. 2020 Jordan enlisted in the Army soon after turning 21 and served a four-year stint in the infantry. oregonlive, "Oregon novelist relives the pain of Vietnam in ‘Searching for Gurney’," 27 Dec. 2020 The result is a vehicle that looks similar to the U.S. Army’s M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System, which is designed as an infantry support vehicle and meant to destroy enemy bunkers, emplacements, and engage armored vehicles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "North Korea Threw a Nuke Parade to Flaunt These Frightening New Weapons," 12 Oct. 2020 Miron rotated among special forces and infantry divisions accompanied by the German shepherd, who was trained to warn him when ambushes, booby traps or other dangers lay ahead. Katy Read, Star Tribune, "Monuments dedicated to five wars unveiled in Veterans Park of Blaine," 16 Jan. 2021 That led to 23 years of service and two tours of duty in the Vietnam War as an infantry officer. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah biathlon standout Bill Spencer, an Olympic athlete and coach, dies at 84," 4 Dec. 2020 Two former combat infantry Marines will speak at TQL’s Veterans Day observance. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "TQL to hoist flag up Ohio's tallest flagpole on Veterans Day," 10 Nov. 2020 Simply put, this isn't good news for the Army’s other procurement projects, which aim to select a new medium helicopter, a replacement for the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, and other equipment in the 2020s and beyond. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Spent Almost a Year Making Face Masks. That Doesn't Bode Well.," 18 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for infantry

Time Traveler

The first known use of infantry was in 1579

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Statistics for infantry

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infantry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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