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
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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of recruit in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 Bateman is the player who proved that P.J. Fleck could recruit exceptional talent, even from Georgia. Star Tribune, "By opting out, Gophers' Rashod Bateman makes wisest choice for his health and future," 4 Aug. 2020 Party officials tried unsuccessfully to recruit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in part to block a Kobach nomination. Steven T. Dennis,, "A Trump Ally in Kansas Has D.C. Republicans Worried About Senate Control," 3 Aug. 2020 Law firms, corporations, and government agencies recruit South Texas graduates because of their strong legal foundation layered with real-world, practical skills. Houston Chronicle, "Considering law school? Find one that offers real-world experience," 31 July 2020 Phase three will recruit nearly 9,000 healthcare professionals in Brazil. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Dozens of COVID-19 vaccines are in development. Here are the ones to follow.," 31 July 2020 Another quarter said the party was already making efforts to recruit women. CBS News, "CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the Election & Survey Unit," 30 July 2020 Along with Dawn, the trial will recruit 30,000 adult volunteers who will receive two 100 microgram injections of either the vaccine or a placebo to evaluate if the vaccine can prevent COVID-19. Georgia Slater,, "Georgia News Anchor Becomes First Person to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Shot in Phase 3 Trial," 30 July 2020 Members are sent to conferences such as AfroTech and Grace Hopper to help recruit. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, "When tech companies want to fix their race problem, the work often falls on unpaid employee groups," 26 June 2020 Fellow 2020 recruit Joshua Christopher took a visit to Howard before ultimately choosing to play with his brother, Caleb, at Arizona State. Stephen Means, cleveland, "HBCUs can follow the Gonzaga footprint in finding college basketball success: Buckeye Take," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2018, a potential recruit to lead the institute asked whether its board was open to new approaches. The Cutting, ProPublica, "What Happened When a Public Institute Became a De Facto Lobbying Arm of the Timber Industry," 7 Aug. 2020 In 2018, a potential recruit to lead the institute asked whether its board was open to new approaches. oregonlive, "What happened when a public institute became a de facto lobbying arm of the timber industry," 4 Aug. 2020 The three-star linebacker is No. 85 on The Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 area recruit rankings. Angel Franco, Dallas News, "Fort Worth Nolan LB J’Dan Burnett commits to Louisiana Tech," 4 Aug. 2020 The Arizona State football program has landed its most noteworthy recruit of the 2021 cycle thus far with four-star cornerback Isaiah Johnson out of St. Bernard in Playa Del Ray, California, announcing his pledge on social media late Monday. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, "Top California cornerback Isaiah Johnson commits to ASU football," 4 Aug. 2020 Last fall, the Wolverines guaranteed the scholarship of recruit J.D. Johnson, who was forced to retire from football due to a heart condition. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan football is giving all its recruits peace of mind," 4 Aug. 2020 She has been charged with allegedly helping Epstein recruit and traffick three underage girls between 1994 and 1997. Fox News, "Dozens of Ghislaine Maxwell documents released, show emails with Epstein," 31 July 2020 Almost every recruit has a plan, though the length and width of this vision is almost always directly proportional to talent and recruiting hype. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "QB Caleb Williams, five-star Oklahoma commit, has plan to become No. 1 pick in NFL draft," 10 July 2020 How Notre Dame’s coaching staff values offensive tackle recruit Joe Alt, however, seems to look different than public perception and his three-star rating. Carter Karels, The Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame's latest OL recruit may be a project. But Joe Alt's bloodline is worth the risk," 8 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for recruit

Time Traveler

The first known use of recruit was in 1642

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Statistics for recruit

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recruit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for recruit


How to pronounce recruit (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recruit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recruit

Spanish Central: Translation of recruit

Nglish: Translation of recruit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recruit for Arabic Speakers

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