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 ˈsō-jər (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 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 How to pronounce soldierly (audio) \ adjective or adverb
soldiership \ ˈsōl-​jər-​ˌship How to pronounce soldiership (audio) \ 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

The mortality rate for Gloucester fisherman was higher than for Union soldiers during the Civil War. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Winslow Homer was sentimental. That’s a good thing.," 10 Sep. 2019 For those keeping score at home: Whatever their preferences or prejudices, the great majority of Confederate soldiers were not slaveholders. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Doing the math while debating teachers’ salaries (9/8/19)," 8 Sep. 2019 Fort Revere includes the remains of two seacoast fortifications and a burial ground for French soldiers who died fighting during the American Revolution. Sarah Wu,, "About 100 gather to protest racist graffiti found at Hull fort," 5 Sep. 2019 Players would go through a sequence of challenges—labeled Puzzle, Corridor, Window, Doorway, Pillar, and Ducking, in order—each of which seems to involve shooting through waves of incoming enemy soldiers. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Recent Valve VR update contains hidden Half-Life demo code," 4 Sep. 2019 Under his charge, she's carted to the barracks as a singing reminder of home for lecherous, drunken soldiers who have no interest in her voice. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "'The Nightingale' is a disturbingly brutal meditation on revenge from 'Babadook' filmmaker," 21 Aug. 2019 With them was a contingent of soldiers dedicated to constructing trails and defensive works from a regiment commanded by Lt. Dan Sweeney,, "What’s the story behind Military Trail and its name? | You asked, we answer," 21 Aug. 2019 Roads around Ahlbach were crucial avenues for German soldiers in retreat, Hessenschau reported. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Massive blast leaves crater in German barley field," 25 June 2019 Nazi soldiers bombed Guernica for two hours, destroying much of the town. Fox News, "UN apologizes to Spain for mischaracterizing bombing that inspired famous Picasso painting," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Others will soldier on, not least the alpha who ended up a domestique. Michael Powell, New York Times, "At Tour de France, Rules of the Road Are Often Unspoken," 25 July 2019 In the 243 years since 1776, the Republic has soldiered on for 38 of them—16% of its existence—without a vice president. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "Who Is Running for Vice President in 2020? These Are the Contenders for the Democratic Nomination," 9 Sep. 2019 Once Garoppolo yielded the nationally televised stage to backups C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens, the 49ers soldiered on in more respectable fashion. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers 24, Broncos 15: Top takeways amid Garoppolo’s clumsy debut," 19 Aug. 2019 Still, Zuckerberg soldiered on, making his point, which happens to be largely true. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "Zuckerberg Defends Free Speech, Even When the Speech is False," 26 June 2019 Eflin and Arrieta could soldier on the rest of the year, and Drew Smyly could prove to be a solid free-agent addition. Mitchell Gladstone,, "Five Under-the-Radar Deals for Contenders to Make Before the Trade Deadline," 29 July 2019 Even as the hip-hop era subsided, and the forces of financialization took over the city, the campaign to criminalize and stigmatize graffiti soldiered on. Daisy Alioto, The New Republic, "How Graffiti Became Gentrified," 19 June 2019 But Uslan soldiered forward, teaming in 1979 with the esteemed former MGM exec Benjamin Melnicker to purchase and peddle the film and television rights. Scott Huver, CNN, "'Batman' turns 30: How a superfan got Hollywood to redefine the Dark Knight," 23 June 2019 Opportunity has soldiered on for years since then, but was caught up in a global dust storm on Mars this summer. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Opportunity May Not Come Back Until January. NASA May Not Give It That Long.," 1 Sep. 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

15 Oct 2019

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 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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