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 Increasingly around Anchorage, where the 26-year-old active-duty soldier wants to make his home after his Army commitment ends, people are noticing his work. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "A graffiti artist and Army soldier is making his mark on Anchorage streets and JBER halls," 9 Oct. 2020 According to a federal complaint, the soldier who killed Guillen, Aaron Robinson, died by suicide in July when confronted by police. CBS News, "Women allege harassment, assault and rape by Fort Hood soldiers: "The military's #MeToo moment"," 8 Oct. 2020 More than a century has passed since a 22-year-old U.S. Army soldier from the North Shore died during the influenza pandemic of 1918 while aboard a ship headed to Europe. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 8 Oct. 2020 These days, Russian disinformationists are apt to say that a NATO soldier, in a Baltic state or elsewhere, raped a local girl. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Dezinformatsiya," 5 Oct. 2020 Gratton, new to writing romance, offers a tale of a pub owner and former soldier with less than pure motives in the most uneven entry in the collection. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: New fall romances range from fluffy to fiery," 5 Oct. 2020 In February in northeastern Thailand, a Thai Army soldier who believed he had been cheated by his commanding colonel in a property transaction shot dead the officer and then went on a shooting rampage that left 31 people dead, including himself. NBC News, "Head of Thai zoos shot dead amid missing wildlife scandal," 3 Oct. 2020 Hirut is on her way to meet the Italian soldier who took the photograph. Emmanuel Iduma, The New York Review of Books, "Italy’s Colonial History in Africa Reframed," 3 Oct. 2020 Former Fort Bragg soldier Ebenezer Yeboah Asane, 37, has been charged for planning and organizing fraudulent marriages between U.S. Army soldiers and immigrants. Lucas Manfredi, Fox News, "Eleven suspects charged for marriage fraud scheme involving immigrants, U.S. Army soldiers," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the Preakness will soldier forth, featuring Authentic at the top of a competitive field comparable to the one that ran at Churchill Downs. Childs Walker,, "Preakness storylines: Can Derby champ Authentic assert himself as nation’s top 3-year-old?," 26 Sep. 2020 Until then, contract tracers soldier on as passengers are urged to provide more information on their own. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Didn't hear from contact tracers about that guy coughing on your flight? You might not — even if he had COVID-19," 18 Sep. 2020 Nevertheless, Microsoft and other companies soldier on, searching for ways to make their expensive devices feel relevant. Wired Staff, Wired, "Who Needs a Folding Phone, Anyway?," 14 Aug. 2020 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

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

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 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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