Definition of conquer in English:



  • 1Overcome and take control of (a place or people) by military force.

    ‘he conquered Cyprus’
    figurative ‘they've conquered new markets in Japan’
    ‘a conquered people’
    • ‘According to them it was God's own destiny for them to conquer the entire continent to bring it under the U.S. control.’
    • ‘The life and early death of the soldier king who won his first battles at 16, conquered the known world in his twenties and died at 32 should make for gripping audiovisual entertainment.’
    • ‘In 1393, the town was conquered by the Ottoman army and burned to the ground.’
    • ‘He seems much less concerned with conquering territory than with exerting what might be termed feudal control over his neighbours.’
    • ‘Traditional Chinese medicine is destined to conquer the world.’
    • ‘The ego's perverted version of this noble drive is the desire for power and control, the urge to conquer the world.’
    • ‘A country which once conquered the commercial world now fails to make the most of the global market place.’
    • ‘You begin with a starbase and a couple of other structures and ships, and must collect resources to build massive strike forces to conquer an area of space.’
    • ‘I have to say that I am quite happy relying on theirs, and the guidebooks description, and have no urge to come back to conquer the place.’
    • ‘By controlling the countryside, they conquered the towns.’
    • ‘After a while, there is no point trying to conquer the place, and the soldiers go home, leaving a force of a few men who are soon integrated into the country.’
    • ‘Once his home territories were settled, Alexander set out to conquer new territory.’
    • ‘Another Dark Lord has risen to conquer the world.’
    • ‘Sometimes, conquering the capital city isn't the only way to bring about a victory.’
    • ‘Little in our history prepares us to administer conquered territories.’
    • ‘This is the oldest quarter of Granada, the haven to which the Moors fled when the Christians conquered the city, and for centuries it was the poorest.’
    • ‘It speaks, you could say, for much in the accelerated world where we speed between continents and think we have conquered both space and time.’
    • ‘Capital is conquering the world, making the earth a gigantic cesspool of exploitation.’
    • ‘Differential pay rates and the prospect of becoming a professional salaried officer encouraged ambition; estates in newly conquered territories were a final reward.’
    • ‘Until now, we have read this history as a hero story in which the clever human lineage triumphantly conquers the world.’
    defeat, beat, vanquish, trounce, annihilate, triumph over, be victorious over, best, get the better of, worst, bring someone to their knees, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, subdue, subjugate, put down, quell, quash, crush, repress, rout
    seize, take possession of, take control of, take over, appropriate, subjugate, capture, occupy, invade, annex, overrun, win
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    1. 1.1 Successfully overcome (a problem or weakness)
      ‘a fear she never managed to conquer’
      • ‘Here is the one who could unite interests and conquer problems, and yet, he isn't really a choice at all.’
      • ‘The events of the last night she remembered flashed before her eyes as she tried to conquer the weakness she was feeling all over her body.’
      • ‘Both have conquered adversity, overcoming significant injuries.’
      • ‘To researchers who enjoy conquering the technological problems of creating a nanotech world, these social, legal and regulatory concerns may seem like dull things.’
      • ‘Neither problem was fully conquered here, still less with the dodgy leaps at the close.’
      • ‘It is the means for conquering poverty at the lowest rung of society, the basis on which children and the elderly are cared for, the foundation for the cultivation of arts and learning.’
      • ‘Who, after all, could deride the allocation of funding to the process of conquering the problems associated with those issues?’
      • ‘Such is her commitment to conquering her problem that she regularly goes twice a day to group counselling’
      • ‘Over 40 works conquer the difficulties of reproducing prints that are large, dark and detailed.’
      • ‘Learning to conquer setbacks with a smile on one's face is in itself a great achievement.’
      • ‘He is a role model who conquered adversity, remained in school, and now looks forward to a promising future.’
      • ‘The former had conquered her problems, the latter was oblivious of hers.’
      • ‘The challenge, he says, is to conquer those troubles, for that is what life is about.’
      • ‘Thrilled with my progress, and under the assumption I had conquered my problem, I fell back into my old ways.’
      • ‘By overlapping cells, the network conquers the line-of-sight problem, enabling customers to roam.’
      • ‘To conquer this problem, we used a second beamsplitter to introduce integrated in-line illumination in the system.’
      • ‘She said children should learn how to conquer setbacks and ought not sacrifice their dreams at the altar of their inhibitions.’
      • ‘Each flag signals that the driver of the vehicle is clinically obese, and would welcome help from passers-by in conquering the problem.’
      • ‘To conquer mold, you must also conquer moisture problems.’
      • ‘Last year, 58 addicts were treated, of which around 20 are believed to have conquered their problems.’
      overcome, get the better of, control, get control of, master, gain mastery over, get a grip on, deal with, cope with, surmount, rise above, get over
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    2. 1.2 Climb (a mountain) successfully.
      ‘the second Briton to conquer Everest’
      • ‘Based on a true story, it recalls how two ambitious mountaineers set out to conquer a previously unclimbed peak in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.’
      • ‘The early expeditioners, who climbed in Norfolk jackets and nailed boots, believed their only obstacle to conquering the mountain was getting at it.’
      • ‘It would be a tough climb, near impossible, but I felt real faith that I could conquer the mountain.’
      • ‘Be ready to come home exhausted, having given it your all for three straight weeks and possibly still not conquered the summit.’
      • ‘To conquer this peak one has to climb on rock and ice.’
      • ‘A Scottish doctor has died in a climbing accident on Mont Blanc, moments after fulfilling his dream to conquer the mountain.’
      • ‘It would seem that at least one Scottish filmmaker has conquered another mountain.’
      • ‘He recalls how he first conquered the holy mountain.’
      • ‘It took a week to conquer the summit from base camp during a two-month expedition.’
      • ‘Without stopping they had conquered an awesome mountain 20 minutes faster than the experts expect serious cyclists to complete the challenge.’
      • ‘He doesn't have to wrestle a bear, conquer a mountain or solve the theory of relativity.’
      • ‘I was born in the Fifties when the mountain was conquered.’
      • ‘James always had his sights set firmly on conquering the mountain and prior to the climb the spirited and adventuresome youngster trained for five weeks in the Commeragh mountains.’
      • ‘She was one of those astonishing Victorian women who conquered mountains and crossed scorching deserts corseted in whalebone and steel, sporting smart designer tweeds and improbable hats.’
      • ‘We were unwilling to waste energy conquering the high peak.’
      • ‘I learned that you never really conquer a mountain; you are just blessed to spend time on one.’
      • ‘Many attempt to climb this mountain but the climb is steep and on loose scree; to be physically fit and have a real desire to climb is essential to conquer this small mountain.’
      • ‘Let's just say that it sounds like the concern was for nothing since the ladies conquered the mountain like champs.’
      • ‘The expedition, that was flagged off on Thursday, will start the climb this week-end and have 15 days to conquer the peak.’
      • ‘Until that point, the action has centred on two mountaineers who have come adrift from each other after conquering a peak never climbed before (or since - this is a true story).’
      climb, ascend, mount, scale, top, crest
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    3. 1.3 Gain the love, admiration, or respect of (a person or group of people)
      ‘the Beatles were to leave Liverpool and conquer the world’
      • ‘At the moment the band is conquering the world.’
      • ‘For a time in the 1970's they were the British band that conquered America.’
      • ‘Its success is quite impressive because of the fact it is all about a German band that conquered Europe with hits on the German language.’
      • ‘Establishing themselves first in the highly competitive Cork music scene, they then went north to Dublin to conquer the capital.’


Middle English (also in the general sense ‘acquire, attain’): from Old French conquerre, based on Latin conquirere ‘gain, win’, from con- (expressing completion) + quaerere ‘seek’.