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

Violence has flared during the recent protests after Hernandez put soldiers on the streets, leading to widespread condemnation. Jack Guy, CNN, "Why Hondurans are taking to the streets or leaving the country," 6 July 2019 The Congressional Black Caucus is pushing to posthumously award an African American soldier the Medal of Honor for his bravery on D-Day. Washington Post, "Push to posthumously give black soldier D-Day Medal of Honor," 4 July 2019 Lawmakers would be fully justified in placing checks on the president’s ability to deploy armed soldiers for his own Caesar-like glorification. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Tanks, But No Tanks," 4 July 2019 Last week, Mexico deployed 15,000 soldiers along the U.S. border in an attempt to reduce the number of migrants traveling to the country. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Selena Gomez Outraged Over 'Inhumane' Treatment of Children at U.S. Border Patrol Facilities," 30 June 2019 After speaking to her troops on Saturday, Yeager reviewed soldiers marching in formation and a parade of military vehicles, including an M-ATV armored vehicle, an eight-wheeled Stryker fighting vehicle, and a Humvee. Daniel Langhorne,, "She just made history as the first woman to lead an Army division. Meet Maj. Gen. Laura Yeager," 30 June 2019 French revolutionaries, like our modern iconoclasts who topple statues of Confederate soldiers in the night, often went wild destroying monuments, portraits, and names affiliated with the Ancien Régime and the Catholic Church. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 The tunnels connected the residents with subterranean schools and hospitals, and included booby traps smeared with poisonous concoctions to injure enemy soldiers. National Geographic, "Southeast Asia Family Journey: Vietnam to Cambodia," 12 June 2019 Established three years after the Civil War in 1868, Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers with flowers. Andra Chantim, Good Housekeeping, "How Memorial Day Is Different Than Veterans Day," 11 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Sylvester Stallone will soldier on as Rambo once again, after already making a stellar return as Rocky. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Men in Black' and the Battle Between Nostalgia and Fatigue," 15 June 2019 My father, of prime age for soldiering in WWII, never wore a uniform. Fred Niedner, Post-Tribune, "D-Day recollections remind us of horrors of war," 7 June 2019 Lacking any breakthrough in bulletproof armor technology the M1 soldiered on through Korea and the Vietnam War. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How U.S. Military Helmets Went From Stopping Rocks to Stopping Bullets," 18 May 2017 Dion soldiered through, still taking in each gown while dotting her eyes with a handkerchief. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Céline Dion's Reactions at Couture Fashion Shows Are More Beautiful Than Any Dress Could Be," 24 Jan. 2019 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

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

9 Jul 2019

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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 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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