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 soldier (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

Other Words from soldier


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for soldier

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 One soldier was killed and nine service members injured after a lightning strike at a military base in Georgia on Wednesday morning, a base spokeswoman said. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 The soldiers were treated at the nearby Eisenhower Army Medical Center, where one soldier died. Tommy Mcardle,, 21 July 2022 One soldier was killed and nine other soldiers were injured Wednesday in a lightning strike at Fort Gordon, an Army installation in Georgia, military officials said. CBS News, 21 July 2022 One soldier was killed and nine others injured after a lightning strike Wednesday at Fort Gordon, a U.S. Army base in eastern Georgia. Alexandra Koch, USA TODAY, 20 July 2022 One soldier died and nine others were injured in a lightning strike Wednesday at an Army installation in Georgia, a Fort Gordon spokesperson said. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 20 July 2022 Almost everyone in a volunteer unit guarding the area had suffered a concussion in recent weeks, said one soldier, Oksana, 27. New York Times, 17 July 2022 The whereabouts of five other Belarusian soldiers engaged in the exchange remained unknown until at least one soldier appeared in a video posted to a Russian Telegram account Tuesday. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 6 July 2022 Territorial defense soldiers did not expect that kind of fierce engagement, said one soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive topics. Megan Specia,, 2 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On March 23 in Manchester England, Hearn and bassist Jim Creeggan both tested positive for Covid-19, and frontman Ed Robertson and drummer Tyler Stewart opted to soldier on as a duo, for the first time ever. Gary Graff, cleveland, 27 June 2022 Curt Casali spent last year watching Buster Posey try to soldier through two-thirds of the San Francisco Giants’ games behind the plate despite playing with a lot of physical discomfort. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 2022 There was no treatment, I was told, and left to soldier on as if nothing was happening, for fear I’d be accused of being slovenly yet again. Erin Prater, Fortune, 11 June 2022 Just as Congress, CNN, CBS News and Twitter will soldier on in a world where the public knows more than ever about their inner workings, so will the Supreme Court. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 In an era of remote work, the need to soldier on has prevailed. Megan Carnegie, Wired, 31 Mar. 2022 Further, the lack of resupply is crushing to soldier morale. Vikram Mittal, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the Cavs must soldier on without him. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2022 Gottstein, a 22-year veteran of the bank who once more stressed his intention to soldier on, defended the decision to keep the findings under wraps. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About soldier

Time Traveler for soldier

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near soldier



soldier's buttons

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for soldier

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Soldier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for soldier


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

More from Merriam-Webster on soldier

Nglish: Translation of soldier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soldier for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!