Synonyms & Antonyms of conquer

1 to bring under one's control by force of arms
  • before his final defeat, Napoléon had managed to conquer much of Europe

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2 to achieve a victory over
  • love conquers all, or so romance novels would have us believe

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Antonyms for conquer

3 to achieve victory (as in a contest)
  • a coach who demands that his team conquer, whatever the cost

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Frequently Asked Questions About conquer

How does the verb conquer differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of conquer are defeat, overcome, overthrow, reduce, subdue, and vanquish. While all these words mean "to get the better of by force or strategy," conquer implies gaining mastery of.

Caesar conquered Gaul

How do defeat and vanquish relate to one another, in the sense of conquer?

Defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals.

the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas

When would overcome be a good substitute for conquer?

The words overcome and conquer are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.

overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks

When can overthrow be used instead of conquer?

The meanings of overthrow and conquer largely overlap; however, overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.

violently overthrew the old regime

When is reduce a more appropriate choice than conquer?

Although the words reduce and conquer have much in common, reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.

the city was reduced after a month-long siege

Where would subdue be a reasonable alternative to conquer?

While the synonyms subdue and conquer are close in meaning, subdue implies a defeating and suppression.

subdued the native tribes after years of fighting

When is it sensible to use vanquish instead of conquer?

The synonyms vanquish and conquer are sometimes interchangeable, but vanquish implies a complete overpowering.

vanquished the enemy and ended the war

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Time Traveler for conquer

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conquer.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conquer

Dictionary: Definition of conquer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with conquer

Spanish Central: Translation of conquer

Nglish: Translation of conquer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conquer for Arabic Speakers

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