sol·​dier | \ ˈsōl-jər How to pronounce soldier (audio) \

Definition of soldier

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one engaged in military service and especially in the army
b : an enlisted man or woman
c : a skilled warrior
2 : a militant leader, follower, or worker
3a : one of a caste of wingless sterile termites usually differing from workers in larger size and head and long jaws
b : one of a type of worker ants distinguished by exceptionally large head and jaws
4 \ ˈsō-​jər How to pronounce soldier (audio) , ˈsōl-​ \ : one who shirks work


soldiered; soldiering\ ˈsōl-​jə-​riŋ How to pronounce soldier (audio) , ˈsōlj-​riŋ \

Definition of soldier (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to serve as a soldier
b : to behave in a soldierly manner
c : to push doggedly forward usually used with on soldiered on to the end
2 : to make a pretense of working while really loafing

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Other Words from soldier


soldierly \ ˈsōl-​jər-​lē How to pronounce soldier (audio) \ adjective or adverb
soldiership \ ˈsōl-​jər-​ˌship How to pronounce soldier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for soldier

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of soldier in a Sentence

Noun Many soldiers were wounded in combat. one of the goals of war is to keep as many soldiers as possible from being killed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That book started with the story of a former soldier who made a literal deal with the devil, gaining supernatural powers and a new lease on life at a heavy price. al, "Why Green Lantern’s ‘Far Sector’ rings true in Alabama," 26 Feb. 2021 Gill dives into the perspective of a devoted soldier. Cindy Frenkel, Wired, "Teaching Classic Lit Helps Game Designers Make Better Stories," 25 Feb. 2021 The chapters correspond to large movements within Cherry’s life, such as going from a young man in love to a soldier, to an addict, to a criminal. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "The Russo brothers get deeply personal in their big-budget indie ‘Cherry’," 21 Feb. 2021 State police say a drunk driver smashed a statue of a female combat soldier in Sprague on Monday, a heartbreaking incident for veterans who cherished one of the few memorials that singled out their service. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Female combat soldier statue toppled by drunk driver, police say," 1 Dec. 2020 Lee immediately and with utter disregard for his own personal safety, passed his radio to another soldier and charged through the murderous fire. Drew Broach | Staff Writer,, "On Veterans Day, meet all 26 of Louisiana's Medal of Honor recipients," 10 Nov. 2020 Other brands such as Yora already offer dog food containing larvae of black soldier flies. Streisand Neto, CNN, "Nestlé thinks your cat (or dog) will eat insects and fava beans," 5 Nov. 2020 Katie Constandse, 37, is married to a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg. Jeffrey Collins And David Crary,, "Veterans are divided about reports that Trump disparaged military members," 6 Sep. 2020 Katie Constandse, 37, is married to a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg. Arkansas Online, "Veterans are divided about reports Trump disparaged military," 6 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Any loss in funding also could further hobble public schools’ ability to help children who have lost ground as districts struggle to reopen or soldier on in hybrid or distance-learning scenarios. Jeff Amy,, "School voucher advocates hope frustration with remote learning during pandemic bolsters their cause," 24 Feb. 2021 Any loss in funding also could further hobble public schools’ ability to help children who have lost ground as districts struggle to reopen or soldier on in hybrid or distance-learning scenarios. Jeff Amy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Public school parents consider pandemic leap to private schools," 24 Feb. 2021 Some places, like Istanbul, have tried to soldier on. New York Times, "Its Borders Shut, New Zealand Prods Local Tourists to ‘Do Something New’," 4 Feb. 2021 But there are many reasons to soldier through the fog. New York Times, "Paris, Shuttered, Must Be Imagined," 30 Jan. 2021 Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the sprawling film follows Holland's protagonist from college student to soldier to drug addict to bank robber, as his mental and physical health unravels along the way. Devan Coggan,, "Tom Holland unravels in first Cherry trailer," 14 Jan. 2021 Pro football tries to soldier on, but for how long? NBC News, "Getting to January a major challenge for NFL as Covid-19 ravages team rosters," 30 Nov. 2020 Utah’s high school football playoffs will soldier on — a total of 11 games involving 16 teams. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "How to navigate Utah’s emergency COVID-19 order: Schools, bars, football and more," 9 Nov. 2020 But the Preakness will soldier forth, featuring Authentic at the top of a competitive field comparable to the one that ran at Churchill Downs. Childs Walker,, "Preakness storylines: Can Derby champ Authentic assert himself as nation’s top 3-year-old?," 26 Sep. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for soldier


Middle English soudeour, from Anglo-French soudeer, soudeour mercenary, from soudee shilling's worth, wage, from sou, soud shilling, from Late Latin solidus solidus

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Time Traveler for soldier

Time Traveler

The first known use of soldier was in the 14th century

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Statistics for soldier

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for soldier



English Language Learners Definition of soldier

: a person who is in the military : a member of an army


sol·​dier | \ ˈsōl-jər How to pronounce soldier (audio) \

Kids Definition of soldier

: a person in military service and especially an enlisted person who is in the army

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