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 Now an innovative car designer after leaving racing because of heart issues, the steely Texas is recruited by Ford marketing executive Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) to engineer a car that can upend Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: The bromance is real in Matt Damon and Christian Bale's retro cool 'Ford v Ferrari'," 11 Nov. 2019 Smugglers have been recruited by relatives, spouses and friends - even their bosses at work - and typically communicate via cellphone with the migrants and their guides in Mexico. Maria Sacchetti, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Bodies flew everywhere’: A border chase shows role U.S. citizens play in immigration smuggling," 1 Nov. 2019 Sarah Cascone at artnet News reports that the Army actually began reconstituting the Monuments Men (and now Women) back in 2015, recruiting cultural specialists to join the Army Reserves. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Smithsonian and the Army Join Forces to Revive the Monuments Men," 26 Oct. 2019 To recruit for a trial like PellePharm’s, though, even this fruitful ground wasn’t quite fruitful enough. Eric Boodman, STAT, "Leave a Comment," 23 Oct. 2019 Part of a wave of workers recruited post-9/11, Billy did not receive the training, protections, or compensation of a full-time agent. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 19 Oct. 2019 Here are some findings: Becoming a foster parent DCS isn’t sufficiently providing language services to recruit Spanish-speaking families. Arizona Republic, "Audit: Arizona Department of Child Safety doesn't give foster parents information needed to keep kids safe," 18 Oct. 2019 Reese Witherspoon may be a social media pro, but the Big Little Lies actress recruited her 15-year-old son, Deacon Phillippe, to teach her the ways of one of the newest platforms, TikTok. Susan Brickell,, "Reese Witherspoon's Comfy Sneakers Totally Steal the Show in Her First TikTok Video," 17 Oct. 2019 No wonder, California now has a college recruiting edge. The Christian Science Monitor, "The antidote for China’s violent turn," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hersey senior quarterback Jordan Hansen, a Northern Illinois recruit, accounted for 123 yards passing and 76 rushing. Bob Narang,, "Lake Zurich shuts down Hersey thanks to ‘aggressive’ defense in 7A second round," 9 Nov. 2019 Liddell, a top-50 national recruit, appeared in only 13 games last season, never playing more than seven minutes in the first nine. Mark Rosner, Houston Chronicle, "UT's Andrew Jones excels in his return from leukemia treatment," 6 Nov. 2019 Freshman guards Harold Beverly and Isaiah Wong, two top-100 recruits, could have an impact as well. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "How to watch Louisville basketball vs. Miami — and what you should be watching for," 4 Nov. 2019 Junior Raven Colvin, a Purdue recruit, led the Eagles with 22 kills, and first-year head coach Kyla Thomas has the team thinking history with one more hurdle to clear. Rich Torres, Indianapolis Star, "Volleyball: 2A Heritage Christian and 4A New Castle advance to state finals," 2 Nov. 2019 In 2012, quarterback Gunner Kiel, then an LSU recruit, played in the contest. Scott Springer,, "Cincinnati high school football: Wyoming's Evan Prater receives All-American jersey," 31 Oct. 2019 Another recruit, Martinez, also had big ears, and he and Driver were nicknamed Ears No. 1 and Ears No. 2. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Adam Driver, the Original Man," 21 Oct. 2019 Of course, if a coaching staff can flip a recruit, particularly an in-conference commit, to fill a need that’s a massive win-win situation. oregonlive, "Alton Julian, nation’s No. 8 JC cornerback, decommits from Colorado following Oregon State Beavers visit," 17 Oct. 2019 Now seven points behind Didier Deschamps' recruits, their 4-0 thrashing of Moldova ultimately proved inconsequential., "International Roundup: France Held by Turkey, Ronaldo Hits 700, Racism in Bulgaria," 14 Oct. 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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for recruit

The first known use of recruit was in 1642

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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

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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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