Definition of enlist in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the army and by 1847 was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.’
    • ‘He enlisted in the army, fought at Gallipoli and in France, was wounded three times, and won the Military Cross.’
    • ‘In 1914 he enlisted in the French army and he was killed in action the following year, aged 23.’
    • ‘When Mark Parchment enlisted in the Royal Marines he was made to carry a spear on parade.’
    • ‘With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Winkler enlisted in the Austrian army.’
    • ‘They were too young so they dropped out of school, lied about their ages and enlisted in the Navy.’
    • ‘Schmeling enlisted in the German army as a paratrooper and was wounded in action in Crete in 1941.’
    • ‘He moved to Turin in 1861 and enlisted in the army when he arrived there.’
    • ‘In 1924, Lindbergh enlisted in the U.S. army so that he could train as an army reserve pilot.’
    • ‘Mac enlisted in the Royal Air Force, rising to the rank of squadron leader.’
    • ‘We lost all contact, but as it happened we both enlisted in the armed services the moment we turned eighteen.’
    • ‘When the war started many young men enlisted in the armed forces and the merchant marines.’
    • ‘In 1914 Gaudier enlisted in the French army and he was killed in action.’
    • ‘He survived the Great Depression and enlisted in the US Army when the Second World War broke out.’
    • ‘On his release jail in 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Engineers as a private soldier.’
    • ‘Because of his job, he enlisted in the Royal Engineers and was put to work on bomb disposal around the Coventry area.’
    • ‘During the Civil War he enlisted in the Union army in the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.’
    • ‘He enlisted in the Army, and gave distinguished war service, principally in New Guinea.’
    • ‘As soon as he finished high school, he enlisted in the Army.’
    • ‘After house jobs at Cardiff Royal Infirmary he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and was posted to India for most of the Second World War.’
    join up
    recruit, call up, enrol, sign up
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    1. 1.1with object Engage (a person or their help or support)
      ‘the company enlisted the help of independent consultants’
      • ‘State level and district level programmes would also be organised for the purpose of enlisting the support of common people in promotion of peace and harmony.’
      • ‘When the e-mails start to interfere with his work, Jason begins to become worried and enlists the help of his best friend, Tariq, to try to solve the mystery.’
      • ‘He enlists the help of local police in a search for the thieves.’
      • ‘To try to solve both mysteries, he enlists the help of Claire's best friend.’
      • ‘Now they want to enlist the help of young people in the town to encourage school leavers to study in Swindon.’
      • ‘But Colin didn't give up and even enlisted his sister's support.’
      • ‘Large industrialists, enlisting the support of unions, announced the first general strike.’
      • ‘Two basic strategies have been used to enlist the assistance of the courts.’
      • ‘So, in Seattle, he sets up kettles of chicken soup on the sidewalk in Pioneer Square each Christmas Eve, then enlists his family to help ladle out meals to the homeless.’
      • ‘Again, this means getting other people involved and enlisting the help of the media.’
      • ‘Jim enlists the help of his school friends to make sure Michelle has the wedding of her dream.’
      • ‘The Arts Council enlists support from other local groups to assist with the hands-on staging of the event.’
      • ‘They hope to enlist the help of more people in the community to bring court action against the dealers.’
      • ‘They plan to enlist the support and cooperation of scientific organizations around the world.’
      • ‘At face value, the story is deceptively simple - a young girl, Charlotte, goes missing in the woods, and her mother, Dessa, enlists the help of a pilot, Maxine, to aid in the search.’
      • ‘In May 1982 Sharon he flew to Washington to enlist President Reagan's support.’
      • ‘Often frustrated by the lack of information on the subject, he tried to enlist the help of foreign experts but with little success.’
      • ‘He ordered me to enlist Wallace's support for one of his regular press conferences.’
      • ‘She also enlisted the help of a man in Restoration to answer her technical questions.’
      • ‘Anyway I secured the bid and enlisted Alex's help cleaning up the school as well.’
      obtain, engage, win, get, procure, secure
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Mid 16th century (formerly also as inlist): from en-, in- ‘in, on’ + list, perhaps suggested by Dutch inlijsten ‘put on a list’.