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, 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

An Afghan soldier also was killed in the raid, and several others were wounded. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, "American Soldier Is Killed in Afghanistan, the 2nd This Week," 12 July 2018 Canada, for example, has taken the lead in dispatching soldiers to Latvia, where NATO put troops after Russia's Crimea invasion. Noah Bierman,, "Trump heads to Europe amid frayed alliances, and worries about his tilt to Putin," 9 July 2018 Don Downing, of Highland, marched last year and doesn’t feel a particular kinship with one soldier over another. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "North Township parade marchers salute fallen Hoosier soldiers," 2 July 2018 Their objective was to kill as many enemy soldiers as possible. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "For Vietnam veteran, traveling memorial in Surprise brings memories he can't forget," 30 June 2018 Police said at least two soldiers were also wounded in the fighting. Aijaz Hussain, The Christian Science Monitor, "India takes control of Kashmir territory," 25 June 2018 As the engineers worked, and the performers slept, an empty train used to transport soldiers to the East Coast for subsequent deployment to the warfront in Europe came barreling down the main track. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Hammond Train Wreck of 1918 Killed Scores of Circus Performers," 22 June 2018 In the mean time, Devers soldiers on in her efforts to make sure women authors are given their due and more widely read. Sari Botton, Longreads, "Balancing the Books," 15 June 2018 In one sequence the characters stumble upon two Italian soldiers lost in the woods who believe that World War II has just ended. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Chicago Underground Film Festival: The Story of a Satellite," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Yet McConnell has soldiered on and, somehow, kept winning — getting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, for example (and keeping Merrick Garland off it). Jane Coaston, Vox, "Mitch McConnell just became the longest-serving Republican leader in history, even though his party hates him," 14 June 2018 My sister soldiered forth with another needlepoint, in the new colors, with a bushy yet barren wisteria in the front. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, "Attack of the purple ‘bean trees’," 6 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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Phrases Related to soldier

soldier on

Statistics for soldier

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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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).


characteristic trappings or dress

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