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 soldiering (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 onsoldiered 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 soldierly (audio) \ adjective or adverb
soldiership \ ˈsōl-​jər-​ˌship How to pronounce soldiership (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 But language honoring Confederate soldiers has remained. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass Honored With Statues in Maryland State House," 13 Feb. 2020 At least 12 Turkish soldiers have been killed by Syrian regime elements, while Turkey's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that its forces killed 55 pro-Syrian government forces in Idlib. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, "US forces come under fire while on patrol in Syria," 12 Feb. 2020 Smith joined the Army in June 2017 and served as an infantry soldier, and he was trained in combat and tactical operation, prosecutors said. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Army soldier who discussed attack in U.S. pleads guilty to distributing bomb instructions," 11 Feb. 2020 Ajmal Omar, deputy chief of the Nangarhar provincial council, said both American and Afghan forces were visiting an army base in Sherzad district on Saturday afternoon when an Afghan soldier opened fire on American troops. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Two U.S. Service Members Killed in Eastern Afghanistan," 9 Feb. 2020 In September, President Trump abruptly canceled talks with the Taliban including a visit to Camp David after an American soldier was killed in the country. Nick Givas, Fox News, "Multiple US casualties in Afghanistan after attack during military mission, officials say," 9 Feb. 2020 Trump’s 2020 State of the Union guests included a widow of an American soldier who was killed while serving in Iraq, the brother of a man who was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant in California, and the Deputy Chief of U.S. Border Patrol. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "Read the Full Transcript of President Trump's 2020 State of the Union Address," 5 Feb. 2020 An old soldier When in 1950 war broke out in South Korea, MacArthur once again found himself at the head of a huge international army, fighting the North Koreans and Chinese Communists. National Geographic, "A father's legacy drove WWII general MacArthur's ambition," 9 Jan. 2020 After falling for an American soldier stationed in former East Germany, Hansel agrees to become Hedwig to marry the solider and move to the United States. oregonlive, "Portland Center Stage gives ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ a raucous homecoming," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pittman left the restaurant in mid-2019 and the restaurant soldiered on. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "9 notable restaurants that closed* in Dallas in January 2020: Bolsa, the Common Table and more," 22 Jan. 2020 On Sunday, undeterred, Klobuchar soldiered on to Waterloo. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Watching Amy Klobuchar’s Impassioned Centrism in Iowa," 29 Jan. 2020 So the Evora has soldiered on ever since, updated every so often with slightly more power and a few tweaks here and there. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Driving the 2020 Lotus Evora GT makes me optimistic about Lotus’ future," 27 Sep. 2019 Event producer Lenny Matuszewski shared that, unfortunately, there was a problem with the audio wiring, though emcee and KTRK anchor Melanie Lawson soldiered on without missing a beat. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Despite Tropical Storm Imelda's rain, Winter Ball's Women of Distinction honorees shine," 23 Sep. 2019 Two Niles treasures — its Veterans History Project and the living veterans who contributed their stories to it — will soldier on despite the fact the project’s trailblazer has retired from the Niles-Maine District Library. George Castle,, "Niles’ treasure of veterans and their stories loses its curator, but marches forward," 12 Nov. 2019 Roughly a half-dozen candidates in the very bottom tier of the Democratic presidential primary are soldiering on, hoping that even after months of campaigning without catching fire that there's still a chance. Holly Ramer And Nicholas Riccardi, USA TODAY, "Still a chance? 2020 longshots insist race is up for grabs," 12 Nov. 2019 Roughly a half-dozen candidates in the very bottom tier of the Democratic presidential primary are soldiering on, hoping that even after months of campaigning without catching fire that there’s still a chance. Nicholas Riccardi, The Denver Post, "Still a chance? Michael Bennet, 2020 longshots insist race is up for grabs," 11 Nov. 2019 Many of them, while soldiering through the frigid Polish winter, participated in re-creations of horrors that had taken place in the teeming camp. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Branko Lustig, Holocaust survivor and Oscar-winning producer of ‘Schindler’s List,’ dies at 87," 16 Nov. 2019

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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for soldier


How to pronounce soldier (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on soldier

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soldier

Spanish Central: Translation of soldier

Nglish: Translation of soldier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soldier for Arabic Speakers

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