Definition of old soldier in English:

Share this entry

old soldier


A male ex-soldier.
Example sentences
  • More than 400 people had packed into the 14 th-century church, including old soldiers from the Royal Marines, Coldstream Guards and other regiments.
  • Most nights middle-aged revolutionaries may be found sitting around grumbling about the morals of today's young ‘hoodies’ like so many old soldiers at a British Legion.
  • I'm an old soldier, a paratrooper, this is my third war, including Yom Kippur and Beirut in 1982.


come (or play) the old soldier

informal Use one’s greater age or experience of life to deceive someone or to shirk a duty: if the crew had played the old soldier, there’s no way we could have got by
More example sentences
  • Charlie, and his mates Sonny and Harry, may be the poor bloody infantry of the Save the Scottish Regiments campaign, but he wasn't playing the old soldier when he told me his assessment of Peter, the Tories' man at the front.
  • Of course, everyone is looking for the edge, and Roscommon were already down to 14 men, but Dolan probably got Connelly sent off by playing the old soldier.
  • The old soldier's assault against the forces of dogma and opinion became more and more effective so that by the end of the war he was forced to drink the cup of poisonous hemlock.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: old sol|dier

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.