sol·​dier | \ˈsōl-jər \

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, ˈsōl-​ \ : one who shirks work


soldiered; soldiering\ˈsōl-​jə-​riŋ, 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 \ adjective or adverb
soldiership \ˈsōl-​jər-​ˌship \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for soldier

Synonyms: Noun

dogface, fighter, legionary, legionnaire, man-at-arms, regular, serviceman, trooper, warrior

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of soldier in a Sentence


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

In its main phase from 2003 to 2011, this war led to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, plus what appears to be around 400,000 Iraqis. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Weekly Standard’s demise is a reminder that there are some ideas worse than Trumpism," 5 Dec. 2018 As the story goes, my grandmother hid and watched while her brothers jumped down from trees to snap the necks of Nazi soldiers. Rachel Christensen, SELF, "Losing My Pregnancy and the 2016 Election Taught Me That We Have No Choice But to Keep Going," 8 Nov. 2018 The Koreas have also been clearing mines from front-line areas and plan to start their first-ever joint search for remains of soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War in April. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "2 Koreas to destroy 22 front-line guard posts by November," 26 Oct. 2018 But by the turn of the century, statues of Confederate soldiers began appearing in more elaborate war poses, recasting the conflict as a worthy, even necessary, battle for Southern values. Shaun Assael, Glamour, "The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments," 16 Aug. 2018 There's also other physical evidence of soldiers receiving new limbs. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Man With a Knife for an Arm," 14 Aug. 2018 Sutton said Yobe could also be used in military communications, to enable better communications among groups of soldiers on a battlefield. Hiawatha Bray,, "Tech community wrestles over working with government," 13 July 2018 North Korea has returned the remains of some American soldiers to the United States over the years since 1953, when an armistice halted the Korean War. New York Times, "North Koreans Are No-Shows at Meeting to Discuss U.S. Soldiers’ Remains," 12 July 2018 At a meeting today to discuss the return of the remains of American soldiers who died in the Korean War, North Korean officials did not even show up. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Still Pretending Fake North Korea Nuclear Deal Is Real," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But even as Facebook Live’s popularity has vanished into the ether, Legere and Slow Cooker Sunday have soldiered on. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "T-Mobile is releasing a Slow Cooker Sunday cookbook by CEO John Legere," 6 Dec. 2018 But eventually, as guests wound up atop tables and chairs to show off their dance moves, their shoes were left aside—but Tiffany Haddish soldiered on. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Lily Aldridge, and Joan Smalls Welcome Their Latest Campaign for Jimmy Choo," 9 Sep. 2018 Fans were drawn to Mr. Friend’s mix of reserve and vulnerability, his portrait of a man soldiering on despite serious PTSD. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Rupert Friend Is Tired of Killing," 14 June 2018 The cost to cave was measured against the certainty that the company would soldier on with a chance at greatness. Neil Senturia,, "Why don't we heed risk warnings?," 9 July 2018 Founders Billy Lemmons and Bill Waldrip soldiered through the downturn, which also hit the oil and gas industry, and emerged in 2010 with a first fund of nearly $800 million. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio energy investors pump billions into oil and gas projects," 2 July 2018 Meanwhile, senators soldiered on trying to broker a compromise. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "GOP leaders eye new bill on family separations at border," 25 June 2018 Instead, the Dodgers have soldiered on without him. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Jason Heyward's Turning Point, Expansion Possibilities and Bryce Harper's Struggles," 18 June 2018 Despite the setback, Abramovitz soldiered on and received his bachelor's degree from McGill University., "How This Woman Hacked Her Boyfriend's Email & Sabotaged His Music Career," 18 June 2018

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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Statistics for soldier

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soldier

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

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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 \

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

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).


a nest or breeding place

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