Definition of enlist in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈlɪst/
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈlɪst/


1Enrol or be enrolled in the armed services: [no object]: he enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service [with object]: hundreds of thousands of recruits had been enlisted
More example sentences
  • We lost all contact, but as it happened we both enlisted in the armed services the moment we turned eighteen.
  • During the Civil War he enlisted in the Union army in the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
  • He survived the Great Depression and enlisted in the US Army when the Second World War broke out.
join up;
join, enrol in, sign up for, volunteer for
British archaic take the King's shilling
recruit, call up, enrol, sign up;
mobilize, raise, muster, rally, hire, employ, take on, engage, conscript;
North American  draft, induct
historical press, press-gang
archaic levy, list
1.1 [with object] Engage (a person or their help or support): the company enlisted the help of independent consultants
More example sentences
  • He ordered me to enlist Wallace's support for one of his regular press conferences.
  • In May 1982 Sharon he flew to Washington to enlist President Reagan's support.
  • Anyway I secured the bid and enlisted Alex's help cleaning up the school as well.
obtain, engage, win, get, procure, secure



Example sentences
  • On July 8th, basic training for enlistees in the Army Ranger program began at Fort Benning, Georgia, with Tillman and a younger brother among those hoping to qualify for the elite light infantry unit.
  • These include members of the National Guard and career soldiers eligible to retire after 20 years of service as well as enlistees who've completed their eight-year commitment.
  • In doing so, military recruiters made a number of promises to new enlistees - such as the promise of free lifetime medical care.


Example sentences
  • As an enlister in the army during World War I, he saw no action because the war ended shortly after he arrived at camp for training.
  • He was still there in 1797 as he served an additional 6 months as an enlister for the Loyal Nottingham Foresters from November 1796 to April 1797.


Mid 16th century (formerly also as inlist): from en-1, in-2 'in, on' + list1, perhaps suggested by Dutch inlijsten 'put on a list'.

Words that rhyme with enlist

assist, cist, coexist, consist, cyst, desist, exist, gist, grist, hist, insist, list, Liszt, mist, persist, resist, schist, subsist, tryst, twist, whist, wist, wrist

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en¦list

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.

Related Words