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’
    • ‘Mac enlisted in the Royal Air Force, rising to the rank of squadron leader.’
    • ‘When Mark Parchment enlisted in the Royal Marines he was made to carry a spear on parade.’
    • ‘They were too young so they dropped out of school, lied about their ages and enlisted in the Navy.’
    • ‘At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the army and by 1847 was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.’
    • ‘As soon as he finished high school, he enlisted in the Army.’
    • ‘When the war started many young men enlisted in the armed forces and the merchant marines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On his release jail in 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Engineers as a private soldier.’
    • ‘He enlisted in the Army, and gave distinguished war service, principally in New Guinea.’
    • ‘He moved to Turin in 1861 and enlisted in the army when he arrived there.’
    • ‘He enlisted in the army, fought at Gallipoli and in France, was wounded three times, and won the Military Cross.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Schmeling enlisted in the German army as a paratrooper and was wounded in action in Crete in 1941.’
    • ‘In 1914 he enlisted in the French army and he was killed in action the following year, aged 23.’
    • ‘In 1924, Lindbergh enlisted in the U.S. army so that he could train as an army reserve pilot.’
    • ‘Because of his job, he enlisted in the Royal Engineers and was put to work on bomb disposal around the Coventry area.’
    • ‘With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Winkler enlisted in the Austrian army.’
    join up
    recruit, call up, enrol, sign up
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    1. 1.1[with object] Engage (a person or their help or support):
      ‘the company enlisted the help of independent consultants’
      • ‘To try to solve both mysteries, he enlists the help of Claire's best friend.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He enlists the help of local police in a search for the thieves.’
      • ‘Anyway I secured the bid and enlisted Alex's help cleaning up the school as well.’
      • ‘The Arts Council enlists support from other local groups to assist with the hands-on staging of the event.’
      • ‘Often frustrated by the lack of information on the subject, he tried to enlist the help of foreign experts but with little success.’
      • ‘Again, this means getting other people involved and enlisting the help of the media.’
      • ‘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 ordered me to enlist Wallace's support for one of his regular press conferences.’
      • ‘They plan to enlist the support and cooperation of scientific organizations around the world.’
      • ‘They hope to enlist the help of more people in the community to bring court action against the dealers.’
      • ‘Large industrialists, enlisting the support of unions, announced the first general strike.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But Colin didn't give up and even enlisted his sister's support.’
      • ‘Jim enlists the help of his school friends to make sure Michelle has the wedding of her dream.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now they want to enlist the help of young people in the town to encourage school leavers to study in Swindon.’
      • ‘Two basic strategies have been used to enlist the assistance of the courts.’
      • ‘She also enlisted the help of a man in Restoration to answer her technical questions.’
      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.