Share this entry

recruit Line breaks: re|cruit
Pronunciation: /rɪˈkruːt/

Definition of recruit in English:


[with object]
1Enlist (someone) in the armed forces: we recruit our toughest soldiers from the desert tribes [no object]: the regiment was still actively recruiting
More example sentences
  • Such a policy would make it easier to recruit soldiers and officers because their pay would be more competitive with the civilian market.
  • Despite some less than optimistic predictions, we have recruited the right soldiers and kept the best and brightest troops in the Army so we can match the right faces to the correct places.
  • The Army has learned through painful experience and proudly proclaims that it recruits soldiers, but retains families.
enlist, sign up, enrol, engage, take on, round up;
North American draft, muster in, induct
historical press, press-gang, shanghai
archaic levy, impress, list, conscribe, crimp, attest
1.1Form (an army or other force) by enlisting new people: the weakness of feudal service as a basis for recruiting an army
More example sentences
  • The state tolerated this situation, for it enabled it to recruit the army and raise taxes directly from the peasantry, without intermediaries.
  • And conscription was only used to recruit the militia, a reserve army never now mobilized except in wartime.
  • For now he's working behind the scenes, trying to build up a $250,000 war chest and recruit an army of campaigners.
muster, form, raise, gather/bring together, assemble, mobilize, marshal, round up, call to arms
1.2Enrol (someone) as a member or worker in an organization or as a supporter of a cause: there are plans to recruit more staff later this year
More example sentences
  • Turnover is the exception, and openings are promptly filled when they occur, often by candidates recruited by current staff members.
  • Waterford Chamber of Commerce are fully aware of the difficulties that its members are experiencing in recruiting suitable employees.
  • With my health clubs, the most effective marketing has always been to reward members for recruiting their friends, family and work colleagues.
hire, employ, take on, take into one's employ;
enrol, sign up, get, obtain, acquire
1.3 [with object and infinitive] informal Persuade to do or help with something: she recruited her children to help run the racket
More example sentences
  • Schoolchildren have been recruited to persuade rail passengers that there is nothing funny about ‘leaves on the line’.
  • They have been recruited to persuade citizens to report local villains.
  • To combat this, they are hoping to recruit dentists to do only NHS work.
2 dated Replenish or reinvigorate (numbers, strength, etc.): travelling was said to recruit the constitution
More example sentences
  • Exercising moderately for 30 to 45 minutes seems to be just right in terms of recruiting the maximum number of lymphocytes.
  • If you're strong in the pull-up, add a weighted belt to recruit both strength and muscle size.
  • These are all multijoint movements that recruit a maximum number of muscle fibers, leading to an increase in anabolic-hormone production.


Back to top  
1A person newly enlisted in the armed forces and not yet fully trained.
Example sentences
  • The intention is to influence many of those new recruits into becoming Army Reserve officers.
  • This program allows qualified civilian recruits to enlist specifically for Special Forces training.
  • This archive consists of hundreds of images of naked men, presumably fresh conscripts and army recruits, taken for an unknown kind of ethnographic exercise.
conscript, new soldier;
North American draftee, inductee
British informal sprog
North American informal plebe, buck private, yardbird
1.1A new member of an organization or supporter of a cause.
Example sentences
  • On the other hand, every pastor affirmed that if church members or new recruits are known to have AIDS they will be supported and treated well within the church.
  • The answer lies in the fact that, while the Advisory Council may be a recent creation, its members are not new recruits.
  • We had no reports of recent antibiotic use and no reports of lice among the family members of recruits during the trial.
new member, new entrant, newcomer, new boy/girl, initiate;
North American tenderfoot, hire
informal rookie, new kid, newbie, cub
North American informal greenhorn


Mid 17th century (in the senses 'fresh body of troops' and 'supplement the numbers in a group'): from obsolete French dialect recrute, based on Latin recrescere 'grow again', from re- 'again' + crescere 'grow'.



Example sentences
  • We went through a number of different designs and got input from focus groups of recruitable people, and this was the design that best conveyed the message we were trying to get out.
  • Next day he's washed up on a beach, still alive, conveniently suffering from amnesia, and is taken to a small town, called Lawson, where just about every youth of recruitable age was killed in the war.
  • It's true that the better you train your people, the more recruitable they are.


Example sentences
  • No one believes that a law school endorses any or all of the recruiters who participate in its annual employment fair.
  • Some law schools barred military recruiters from entering their campuses.
  • What recruiters need are valid and reliable tests for selection at the beginning, to pick up on problems before they manifest themselves.

Words that rhyme with recruit

acute, argute, astute, beaut, Beirut, boot, bruit, brut, brute, Bute, butte, Canute, cheroot, chute, commute, compute, confute, coot, cute, depute, dilute, dispute, flute, galoot, hoot, impute, jute, loot, lute, minute, moot, newt, outshoot, permute, pollute, pursuit, refute, repute, route, salute, Salyut, scoot, shoot, Shute, sloot, snoot, subacute, suit, telecommute, Tonton Macoute, toot, transmute, undershoot, uproot, Ute, volute

Definition of recruit in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...