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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 When a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes hits the streets of New Orleans, a teenage dealer and a local cop must team with an ex-soldier to take down the group responsible for its creation. Ben Flanagan |, al, "New on Netflix: August 2020," 1 Aug. 2020 Vanessa Guillén, the 20-year-old soldier whose remains were found in June near Fort Hood, where she was stationed. Vincent T. Davis,, "Local activists support National Day of Action with caravan of justice," 1 Aug. 2020 An Arizona Army National Guard soldier has died after collapsing during a training event, authorities said Wednesday. The Arizona Republic, "Arizona National Guard solider collapses, dies at hospital in Tempe," 31 July 2020 Where Men Win Glory, the tragic account of the life and death of football star and gutsy soldier Pat Tillman. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Big Tech’s rough day is followed by Big Tech’s amazing day," 31 July 2020 At the White House on Thursday, the mother of Vanessa Guillén, a female soldier at Fort Hood whose murder has sparked a national outcry, pleaded with the President Donald Trump to find and punish those responsible for her child’s death. Imelda García, Dallas News, "Grieving mother of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén pleads with President Trump for justice," 31 July 2020 The killing of a U.S. soldier in a Taliban attack on the capital Kabul in in September 2019 prompted President Trump to declare peace talks with the Taliban dead. Washington Post, "US peace envoy looks to start of talks to end Afghan war," 2 July 2020 Along with the monument in Garfield Park, other statues have been removed across the United States, such as a statue of a Confederate soldier in Jacksonville, Florida, which Mayor Lenny Curry ordered to be removed from a park. Brooke Kemp, The Indianapolis Star, "As the Garfield Park Confederate monument sits in storage, conversation continues," 12 June 2020 Early Tuesday, the statue of a Confederate soldier in an intersection of Alexandria, Virginia, was removed by its owner, the United Daughters of the Confederacy. NBC News, "'I chose my city': Birmingham, Alabama, removes Confederate monument, faces state lawsuit," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One of awards season's premier festivals will soldier on through the coronavirus pandemic. Joey Nolfi,, "Idris Elba, Halle Berry join TIFF lineup, Toronto festival unveils coronavirus changes," 24 June 2020 The family-owned, cafeteria-style restaurant survived that pandemic and is now soldiering through another, the coronavirus. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "What restaurant service could look like as Indiana reopens after coronavirus restrictions," 29 Apr. 2020 So Randazzo and other boxing gym owners soldiered on, adhering to the general guidelines by closing their doors in mid-March, which left boxers to train on their own. John Whisler,, "Most boxing gyms taking reopening guidelines seriously," 21 May 2020 Still, even in the face of that adversity, Harvey soldiered on, lobbying to create the Ozark Trails Association, which helped get the resort, and the region at large, on the fledgling American highway system. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, "What Richard Hofstadter Got Wrong," 16 Apr. 2020 But, at the same time, given the unbending nature of NFL owners, the stance of soldiering on until circumstances dictate otherwise makes perfect sense. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Amid coronavirus uncertainty, NFL resolute in staying the course for 2020 season — for now," 31 Mar. 2020 Admiration for the docs and nurses and parents who soldier through an ordeal that seems to have no end in sight. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Tighter coronavirus lockdown concerns rattle the global markets," 30 Mar. 2020 Today, the show soldiered on with its press day in Beverly Hills. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington on canceled premiere, 'social distancing'," 12 Mar. 2020 Facebook soldiered on with its remaining 20 partners. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Facebook denies reports it is backing away from Libra cryptocurrency," 3 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soldier

Time Traveler for soldier

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for soldier

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on soldier

What made you want to look up soldier? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!