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

The Iowa Central recruit responded by lifting a fly ball down the right field line. Tony Baranek, Elgin Courier-News, "History made: Sofia Tenuta's sacrifice fly sends Huntley to first team state title in school history," 11 June 2019 The organization is working toward making a competitive offer to 23rd-rounder Maurice Hampton, a two-sport LSU recruit whose bonus demands pushed him out of the back of the first round, where he was projected to go last week. Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres working fast on 2019 draft class signings," 10 June 2019 When Toby Stevenson, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the pole vault who recruited Gruver to the Wildcats, left the Kentucky program to become the associate head coach for the Huskies, Gruver quickly followed. Edward Lee,, "'It’s always been the goal': Franklin alum Olivia Gruver has eyes on Olympics after standout pole vaulting career," 10 June 2019 Allen, the Indiana recruit from Bedford North Lawrence, made several big plays down the stretch of Saturday’s 76-71 overtime win over Kentucky. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana All-Stars: Dawand Jones has fun in his basketball swan song," 9 June 2019 But if the Red Raiders were to knock off powerhouse Marist, someone needed to provide a spark Friday. Morgan made the most of her chance, leading off the bottom of the third inning with a double against Northwestern recruit Angela Zedak. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Good Morgan: Lindsay Morgan sparks 3-run third inning as Huntley stuns Marist in 4A state semifinals," 8 June 2019 Two developments out of Tempe in the past 10 are worthy of comment, and both involve recruiting. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Stock report: On USC football momentum, Stanford basketball personnel hits, Pac-12 bowl partners and more," 7 June 2019 HistoryMaker has begun recruiting GHBA members, many of whom are their own vendors, to join the team as donors with contributions of materials, labor and services to help in the home’s construction. Houston Chronicle, "Builder joins GHBA Benefit team," 6 June 2019 Huck, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Derby, in the United Kingdom, recruited 21 English felines, 16 of which tolerated the Oreo-sized cameras enough to count as participants in this project. Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, "Catcam videos reveal cats don’t sleep all day," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Prosecutors say the couple paid $500,000 to a fake charity to get their two daughters accepted into the school, falsely designating them as crew team recruits. Rob Frehse And Steve Almasy, CNN, "College admissions scandal: USC says legal action against Loughlin, Giannulli is possible," 6 June 2019 The pair allegedly paid $500,000 to have their daughters admitted to USC as crew recruits, even though neither row or participated in crew. Charlotte Carroll,, "'Family Guy' Takes Aim at College Admissions Scandal with Emmys Ad," 4 June 2019 Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither of them play the sport. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Test taker pleads guilty in college admissions bribery scam," 13 Apr. 2019 Meanwhile, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid $500,000 to have their two daughters presented as recruits for the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither of them participates in the sport. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Felicity Huffman Just Apologized to Parents and Students Over the College Admissions Scandal," 8 Apr. 2019 Lori, specifically, reportedly paid USC $500,000 to get her daughters listed as recruits for the schools crew team, though neither of them are rowers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Olivia Jade? All About the YouTuber At the Center of the College Bribery Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 Green joins safety Brian Williams of Bishop Dunne as five-star recruits among the Aggies' 13 verbal pledges in the class of 2019 to new coach Jimbo Fisher. Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita OT Kenyon Green pledges to Texas A&M," 2 June 2018 Initially, they were charged with paying $500,000 to a phony charity so that their daughters – Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose — could pose as crew recruits and get into the University of Southern California. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Full House' Star John Stamos Posts Cryptic Instagram of Lori Loughlin Amid College Scandal," 13 May 2019 The investments also help sports that don’t make money on their own stay competitive for recruits and titles, said American East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. Larry Fenn, The Seattle Times, "Money Madness: AP analysis shows growing gap in NCAA payouts," 27 Mar. 2019

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

14 Jun 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

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