Definition of soldier in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊldʒə/


1A person who serves in an army.
Example sentences
  • As an enlisted soldier, he served in every leadership position up to the position of First Sergeant.
  • He thus avoided serving as a soldier, or ‘cannon fodder,’ as he would later put it.
  • Keitel, a professional soldier, served as an artillery officer on the Western Front during the First World War and then as a staff officer.
fighter, serviceman, servicewoman, fighting man, fighting woman, comrade-in-arms, warrior, trooper;
(soldiers) cannon fodder;
in the US GI, enlisted man
British informal squaddie
British military slang pongo
archaic man-at-arms
1.1 (also common soldier or private soldier) A private in an army.
Example sentences
  • He was a common soldier in Company E of the 25th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, finishing the war as a corporal.
  • The badge, not generally awarded to officers above the rank of lieutenant colonel, symbolized Matthew Ridgway's association with the common soldier.
  • The deliberate burial of an unknown soldier could not arise until the idea that common soldiers ought to have individual graves had arisen.
2 Entomology A wingless caste of ant or termite with a large specially modified head and jaws, involved chiefly in defence.
Example sentences
  • Soldiers resemble worker termites, except that they have enlarged brownish heads and strong, well-developed jaws.
  • Termites have a strict caste system, which consists of worker termites, soldiers, winged reproductive termites, a queen termite, and a king termite.
  • When these ants sense a possible threat, they increase the ratio of soldiers to workers in their colonies, report Luc Passera of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, and his colleagues.
3British informal A strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.
Example sentences
  • Cut the bread crust into four soldiers and then cut each soldier into four bite-sized croutons.
  • She does everything but cut the crusts off his toast soldiers to go with his boiled egg.
  • I ate sausages, and boiled eggs and soldiers, white bread and butter, because I think that's what my mother had prepared.
4 [usually as modifier] An upright brick, timber, or other building element.
Example sentences
  • Mr. Johnston explained that the detail below the red line remained the same except for Helifix anchors that were put in just above the soldier course of bricks.
  • There are more options with soldier courses, rowlocks, headers, bonds, etc. in their final form in the wall.
  • Porthole bearings are inserted into the holes in the soldiers to create a positive connection using a tie rod.


[no object]
1Serve as a soldier: (as noun soldiering) soldiering was what the Colonel understood
More example sentences
  • Soldiering for profit was taken for granted for thousands of years, but the United States has thrived in an age when soldiering for the state - serving your country - has taken on an exalted status.
  • ‘Derek loved soldiering; it was his life,’ said Msgr Crowley.
  • General Jackson therefore has no lack of experience of infantry soldiering, having been a platoon commander, adjutant, company commander and commanding officer in infantry battalions.
2 (soldier on) informal Carry on doggedly; persevere: Graham wasn’t enjoying this, but he soldiered on
More example sentences
  • Between New York and Boston, 90 percent of scheduled trains soldiered on, carrying stranded motorists and fliers.
  • But everyone present realized that had Graham soldiered on, most of the press questions would not be about policy ideas but instead would be focused on his woeful prospects for victory.
  • In the meantime Graham's been soldiering away at the window frames on the back of the house, effecting repairs and refurbishments, and working to a higher standard than I've ever seen him do before.
persevere, persist, carry on doggedly, keep on, keep going, not give up, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, show determination, press on/ahead, stay with something, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, be pertinacious, stand one's ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, hold out, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, plough on, grind away
informal hang on, plug away, peg away, stick to one's guns, stick at it, stick it out, hang in there, bash on



Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊldʒəli/
Example sentences
  • The campaign to honour the women of the Second World War has been conducted with military precision and soldierly single-mindedness.
  • Researchers are studying diverse sides of this miniature military life, from soldierly housekeeping to the recruits' tendency to goof off.
  • However, you are right to say that of the war poems in existence many celebrate soldierly virtues (Kipling, Horace, Virgil, Homer).


noun ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • The aim of this text is to question whether there is a necessary relationship between soldiership and society.
  • Men are called - sometimes - to soldiership at the front of the battle.
  • All the commands of soldiership, and the system of soldiership, it is easy to us.


Middle English: from Old French soldier, from soulde '(soldier's) pay', from Latin solidus (see solidus). The verb dates from the early 17th century.

  • Soldiers take their name not from the fact that they are trained to fight but because they are paid to do so. The word entered English in the 13th century, from Old French soldier, from soulde ‘pay, especially army pay’. The ultimate source is Latin solidus, the name of a gold coin that the Romans used. Don't come (or play) the old soldier is something you might say to a person who tries to use their greater age or experience of life to deceive you or to shirk a duty. An old soldier, someone who has been around and knows all the tricks, has been a proverbial figure since the 1720s.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sol|dier

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