re·​cruit | \ ri-ˈkrüt How to pronounce recruit (audio) \
recruited; recruiting; recruits

Definition of recruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to fill up the number of with new members : reinforce recruit an army
(2) : to enlist as a member of an armed service
b : to increase or maintain the number of America recruited her population from Europe
c : to secure the services of : engage, hire
d : to seek to enroll recruit prospective students
2 : replenish
3 : to restore or increase the health, vigor, or intensity of

intransitive verb

: to enlist new members



Definition of recruit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a fresh or additional supply
2 : a newcomer to a field or activity specifically : a newly enlisted or drafted member of the armed forces
3 : a former enlisted man of the lowest rank in the army

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Other Words from recruit


recruiter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for recruit

Synonyms: Verb

assume, employ, engage, fee [chiefly Scottish], hire, lay on [chiefly British], pay, place, retain, sign (up or on), take on

Synonyms: Noun

abecedarian, apprentice, babe, beginner, colt, cub, fledgling, freshman, greenhorn, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, novice, novitiate, punk, rook, rookie, tenderfoot, tyro, virgin

Antonyms: Verb

ax (or axe), can, discharge, dismiss, fire, sack

Antonyms: Noun

old hand, old-timer, vet, veteran

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Examples of recruit in a Sentence


He was recruited by the army after high school. Public schools are recruiting new teachers. College football coaches spend a lot of time recruiting high school athletes. College football coaches spend a lot of time recruiting. Some parents don't think the military should be recruiting from high schools. We recruited a crew of volunteers to help us. I recruited my brother to drive us to the concert. She recruited four friends to distribute food to the homeless with her.


the newest recruit on the team She's one of the department's new recruits.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some of the schools implicated, including Yale and the University of Texas at Austin, already announced increased scrutiny of how recruited athletes are admitted. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "College Admissions Has a Fact-Checking Problem. Here's Why.," 24 Mar. 2019 Of course, people can lie their way in, but recruiting quality candidates is one way to gate keep. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Has Problems, But Are They That Hard to Fix?," 7 Aug. 2018 At 5-10, 191, Gray is classified by recruiting services as an all-purpose back. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 The budget comes weeks after the district made national headlines by recruiting teachers in Oklahoma and Arizona. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "Fort Worth schools budget raises starting teacher pay," 26 June 2018 But he’d been told, many times, that recruiting in this part of the country would not be easy. David Scharfenberg,, "The US military: The greatest social engineering machine ever built," 9 June 2018 Authorities claim the couple spent $500,000 to recruit their daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade to USC's crew team. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Did Hallmark Cancel 'When Calls the Heart' After Lori Loughlin's Scandal? Here's What We Know," 15 Mar. 2019 Both work with Wichita State University Tech to recruit entry-level workers to Kansas. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "KitchenAid’s Key Ingredient: Investing in Workers. ‘It’s Not a Dead-End Job Anymore.’," 22 Feb. 2019 Responsible party leaders should be doing everything in their power to recruit quality politicians like Bullock and O’Rourke to those races. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Democrats need some 2020 Senate candidates," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tennessee posted a combined 31-35 record in Barnes’ first two seasons but has gone 57-14 the last two years with a roster that doesn’t include any former top-100 recruits. Steve Megargee, The Seattle Times, "Barnes, Tennessee look for another signature win vs Purdue," 25 Mar. 2019 Former five-star recruit Kellen Mond is among the candidates for the quarterback job and could be poised for a significant improvement after starting eight games as a true freshman. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Texas A&M in 2018," 7 July 2018 Sheffield joins Cam Hart, a three-star recruit from Maryland who committed Wednesday, as wide receivers in the Irish’s 2019 class. Lamond Pope,, "Notre Dame gets commitment from four-star Tennessee receiver TJ Sheffield," 6 July 2018 Jeter, a former three-star recruit, was the Gatorade South Carolina Girls Basketball Player of the Year and South Carolina Coaches Association AAAA Player of the Year as a junior in 2015., "Digest (June 25): Capitals' Smith-Pelly set to be free agent after not getting qualifying offer," 25 June 2018 Former five-star recruit Landon Young will step in at left tackle. Edgar Thompson,, "Kentucky is pushing to move up in tough SEC, No. 69 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 19 June 2018 Porter, a former All-American and top recruit, is now the latest great mystery in the NBA’s annual selection of prospects. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "MU's Porter, KU's Preston are the NBA Draft's mystery prospects. Is that good or bad?," 19 June 2018 National Democrats once touted Gray as one of their best recruits in their efforts for a House majority. Bill Barrow,, "Immigration, education key in primaries for Georgia governor," 23 May 2018 The UConn football team has landed its first recruit from the high school class of 2019. Mike Anthony,, "Darrin Smith, Running Back From Texas, Is UConn's First 2019 Committed Recruit," 10 May 2018

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


1642, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)


1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recruit


French recrute, recrue fresh growth, new levy of soldiers, from Middle French, from recroistre to grow up again, from Latin recrescere, from re- + crescere to grow — more at crescent

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Statistics for recruit

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recruit

The first known use of recruit was in 1642

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More Definitions for recruit



English Language Learners Definition of recruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to find suitable people and get them to join a company, an organization, the armed forces, etc.
: to form or build (a group, team, army, etc.) by getting people to join
: to persuade (someone) to join you in some activity or to help you



English Language Learners Definition of recruit (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has recently joined the armed forces
: a person who has recently joined a company, organization, etc.


re·​cruit | \ ri-ˈkrüt How to pronounce recruit (audio) \
recruited; recruiting

Kids Definition of recruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to enlist as a member of the armed forces
2 : to get the services of The team recruited a new pitcher.



Kids Definition of recruit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a newly enlisted member of the armed forces
2 : a newcomer to a group or field of activity


transitive verb
re·​cruit | \ ri-ˈkrüt How to pronounce recruit (audio) \

Medical Definition of recruit

: to restore or increase the health, vigor, or intensity of

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More from Merriam-Webster on recruit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recruit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recruit

Spanish Central: Translation of recruit

Nglish: Translation of recruit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recruit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on recruit

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


likely to have or produce good results

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