en·​list | \ in-ˈlist How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en- \
enlisted; enlisting; enlists

Definition of enlist

transitive verb

1a : to secure the support and aid of : employ in advancing an interest enlist all the available resources enlisted our help
b : to win over : attract trying to enlist my sympathies
2 : to engage (a person) for duty in the armed forces

intransitive verb

1 : to enroll oneself in the armed forces will enlist for three years
2 : to participate heartily (as in a cause, drive, or crusade)

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Other Words from enlist

enlistee \ in-​ˌli-​ˈstē How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en-​ , -​ˈli-​stē \ noun
enlistment \ in-​ˈlis(t)-​mənt How to pronounce enlist (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for enlist



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Examples of enlist in a Sentence

They're enlisting volunteers for an experiment. We enlisted all available resources. I enlisted the help of our neighbors. We enlisted the services of a professional. They enlisted several new recruits. After graduating, I enlisted in the navy. He enlisted in the cause of world peace.
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Recent Examples on the Web Last week’s influx of formal events encouraged stars to pull out the couture, enlist their friends to create custom pieces, and generally put their best feet forward. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 27 Sep. 2021 If the police enlist a handsome detective who cracks the case using unconventional methods, don’t let my wife anywhere near him. Ryan Chapma, The New Yorker, 15 July 2021 To achieve this, the minority communities from which these artists emerge must support, or at least not repudiate, those artists who wish to enlist themselves in crossover creation. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Instead, the former all-conference football player and wrestler at Unionville High School in Kennett Square, decided to enlist in the Marines. al, 5 July 2021 The urge to possess something valuable and have it for your own could spur you to enlist the help of a partner. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 16 June 2021 Healthcare is a service business in which patients enlist the help of clinical experts to prevent and treat disease. Stefan Harrer, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Leaders of both parties recently have aimed to enlist us in grandiose abstract projects — including the war on terrorism and innovation for its own sake. Star Tribune, 2 May 2021 Tillman went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals but left the NFL to enlist in the U.S. Army and was killed in a friendly-fire incident while deployed in Afghanistan. Lauren Saria, The Arizona Republic, 15 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enlist.' 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 enlist

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enlist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enlist. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for enlist



English Language Learners Definition of enlist

: to get the support and help of (someone or something)
: to get (help, support, sympathy, etc.) from someone
: to sign up (a person) for duty in the army, navy, etc.


en·​list | \ in-ˈlist How to pronounce enlist (audio) \
enlisted; enlisting

Kids Definition of enlist

1 : to join the armed forces as a volunteer
2 : to get the help of Let's enlist our family in painting the house.

Other Words from enlist

enlistment \ -​mənt \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on enlist

Nglish: Translation of enlist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enlist for Arabic Speakers


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