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

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 The soldier’s name is being withheld until their family is notified. Anchorage Daily News, 11 May 2022 The statement did not provide details on the nature of the evidence or how the Russian soldier ended up in Ukrainian custody. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Israeli officials pointed to video footage in which Palestinian gunmen can be seen racing through a narrow street, with one of them shouting that a soldier has been wounded. Joseph Krauss,, 11 May 2022 Amid a crescendo of machine gun fire, a tall soldier slung an anti-tank missile launcher over one shoulder and took a slow drag on his cigarette. New York Times, 11 May 2022 The Israeli premier said no Israeli soldier was injured during the incident, suggesting the militants might have hit Ms. Abu Akleh. Adam Rasgon, WSJ, 11 May 2022 According to a news release published by the base, the soldier was attacked in a training area west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 11 May 2022 Israeli officials pointed to video footage in which Palestinian gunmen can be seen racing through a narrow street, one of them shouting that a soldier has been wounded. Joseph Krauss And Fares Akram, USA TODAY, 11 May 2022 The soldier's name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification. ABC News, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In an era of remote work, the need to soldier on has prevailed. Megan Carnegie, Wired, 31 Mar. 2022 Further, the lack of resupply is crushing to soldier morale. Vikram Mittal, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the Cavs must soldier on without him. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2022 Gottstein, a 22-year veteran of the bank who once more stressed his intention to soldier on, defended the decision to keep the findings under wraps. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 10 Feb. 2022 On the eastern end of Long Island, residents were trying to soldier on, even as the snow continued to accumulate. New York Times, 29 Jan. 2022 Zendaya’s tribute noted that her A24-produced Spector biopic will soldier on following the singer’s death. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 13 Jan. 2022 This is an enemy that everyone has fought, and that provides a certainty that the system can find ways to soldier forward. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Dec. 2021 The college basketball on the men's and women's side is feeling the sense of deja vu one year after dealing with a pre-vaccinated environment and trying to soldier through the regular season. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near soldier



soldier's buttons

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for soldier


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

More from Merriam-Webster on soldier

Nglish: Translation of soldier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soldier for Arabic Speakers


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