Definition of soldier in English:



  • 1A person who serves in an army.

    • ‘He thus avoided serving as a soldier, or ‘cannon fodder,’ as he would later put it.’
    • ‘A graduate of West Point and a career soldier, he served in combat units in Europe in World War II and in Korea during the Korean War.’
    • ‘As humble privates and illustrious generals, Scottish soldiers marched and fought across the globe, in the service of the British Empire.’
    • ‘By all accounts, the soldiers serve nobly, stand ready and ably carry out their duties.’
    • ‘There are over 1,000 troops occupying the island, including some soldiers from other battalions.’
    • ‘Before visiting a regiment he would call the colonel aside and ask for the name of a soldier who had served well in previous campaigns, but who had not been given the credit he deserved.’
    • ‘Before then the only medals awarded to serving soldiers were for good conduct or long service.’
    • ‘When a soldier has to serve in a dependent-restricted area, he must be confident that his family is well cared for back home.’
    • ‘Norms against child soldiering have proven to be insufficient, so stigmatization of those who abuse children in this manner must be backed up with real punishments.’
    • ‘This is the first glimpse of the new Yorkshire Regiment's Army cap badge, under which thousands of soldiers will fight and serve.’
    • ‘Heavily armed soldiers are deployed around government buildings and soldiers are everywhere in the streets.’
    • ‘She had told me he was the model for ‘The Digger,’ a bronze bust of a soldier at the Australian War Memorial.’
    • ‘Just like other local soldiers, they also served in various military units nationwide.’
    • ‘He zoomed in on the view of one of the soldiers under his command.’
    • ‘The fights are between foot soldiers fighting with swords, spears or axes fashioned out of rattan cane.’
    • ‘As an enlisted soldier, he served in every leadership position up to the position of First Sergeant.’
    • ‘This system gave the local lords wealth and property in exchange for their services as cavalry soldiers in the army.’
    • ‘He reached the base and looked around, watching as soldiers marched in formation.’
    • ‘Private Alan Davidson, 19, said the Army trains soldiers to be ready for anything.’
    • ‘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
    cannon fodder
    gi, enlisted man
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A private in an army.
      • ‘But these conditions were rarely met, and as the war dragged on, the condition of the common soldiers deteriorated more than ever.’
      • ‘Now, fully half of Napoleon's marshals had started their careers as common soldiers.’
      • ‘He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin.’
      • ‘She gave a tribute to the common soldiers whom she felt were the true heroes of the war, selflessly diminishing the importance of her own sacrifice.’
      • ‘If you were conscripted as a common soldier some two hundred years ago, you had to get permission to get married.’
      • ‘Wert makes his most intriguing assessment in describing the morale and attitudes of the common soldier who filled the ranks of the Army of the Potomac.’
      • ‘His letters are generally easy reading, and are filled with great detail about the life of the common soldier.’
      • ‘Zamoyski's description of the privations of the common soldier to and from Moscow in ‘Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow’ would strike a chord too.’
      • ‘A common soldier from a state that never seceded, Green was a volunteer.’
      • ‘His account of his experiences as a common soldier are riveting, and they magnificently capture the monotony of endless drilling, guard duty, and camp chores that consumed most of his days.’
      • ‘The deliberate burial of an unknown soldier could not arise until the idea that common soldiers ought to have individual graves had arisen.’
      • ‘Historians have for years analyzed the social aspects of the Civil War and the common soldiers who fought it.’
      • ‘Bidermann started the war as a common soldier, a Landser, and finished it as a gun captain.’
      • ‘A major strength of the book is Glover's ability to intersperse the action of conflict with quotes from the common soldier and Wellesley himself.’
      • ‘The badge, not generally awarded to officers above the rank of lieutenant colonel, symbolized Matthew Ridgway's association with the common soldier.’
      • ‘I am not asking about those points, says he; I am going to add as judges, common soldiers of the legion of Alaudae; 1 for our friends say that that is the only measure by which they can be saved.’
      • ‘He was a common soldier in Company E of the 25th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, finishing the war as a corporal.’
      • ‘After dealing so extensively with the political context and the experiences of common soldiers, Rable devotes only 80 pages to the actual fighting of 13 December 1862.’
      • ‘It is more important that the soldiers, the common soldiers, see us doing something.’
  • 2Biology
    A wingless caste of ant or termite with a large specially modified head and jaws, involved chiefly in defence.

    • ‘Soldiers resemble worker termites, except that they have enlarged brownish heads and strong, well-developed jaws.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Termites have a strict caste system, which consists of worker termites, soldiers, winged reproductive termites, a queen termite, and a king termite.’
  • 3British informal A strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.

    • ‘Mike Minton, a 37-year-old engineer, has calculated that the ideal width for a toast soldier should be 22 mm.’
    • ‘I ate sausages, and boiled eggs and soldiers, white bread and butter, because I think that's what my mother had prepared.’
    • ‘Personally I go there for the cinnamon toast - cut into thin soldiers piled crossways.’
    • ‘Cut the bread crust into four soldiers and then cut each soldier into four bite-sized croutons.’
    • ‘But by far the most important question to be settled this week was exactly how wide should a toast soldier be?’
    • ‘She does everything but cut the crusts off his toast soldiers to go with his boiled egg.’
  • 4[usually as modifier] An upright brick, timber, or other building element.

    • ‘Timber Waling Clamps are designed to secure the Soldiers to the horizontal timbers on wall shutter applications, they are available in two different sizes 117mm x 117mm and 176mm x 127mm.’
    • ‘There are more options with soldier courses, rowlocks, headers, bonds, etc. in their final form in the wall.’
    • ‘The Pivot Cleat Set is used to create an adjustable angle between two soldiers.’
    • ‘Porthole bearings are inserted into the holes in the soldiers to create a positive connection using a tie rod.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 1Serve as a soldier.

    ‘soldiering was what the Colonel understood’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘With that whetting his appetite for a career in soldiering, he entered the Military College in the Curragh in 1962.’
    • ‘Many were the places they soldiered together down through the years.’
    • ‘Men of noble mind and character, they soldiered together on many an occasion and were lifelong comrades.’
    • ‘These are working people who expected to express their spirit of service with a little weekend soldiering or crisis assistance.’
    • ‘He told me personally that when they were soldiering in the northwest, some families had only one pair of pants.’
    • ‘As the army transforms, one thing is for certain - soldiers and soldiering remain our primary focus.’
    • ‘Everybody is a soldier first but my specialist trade is as a musician and throughout my career I have spent far more time making music than soldiering.’
    • ‘Grandson Steven Casserly gave one of the eulogies, focussing on Peter's life outside soldiering.’
    • ‘I find soldiering an extremely boring activity, and search for interesting items among my fellow soldiers.’
    • ‘But while Urban's book tells of radical new departures in soldiering, it also drives home some inalienable truths about war and the military profession.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2informal Carry on doggedly; persevere.

    ‘Graham wasn't enjoying this, but he soldiered on’
    • ‘I'm just thankful for you my dear readers for soldiering through a whingy, substandard post.’
    • ‘Between New York and Boston, 90 percent of scheduled trains soldiered on, carrying stranded motorists and fliers.’
    • ‘I soldiered through and did two lengths beyond what I'd achieved on Tuesday, while cutting two minutes off my time, then slunk into the steam room where I sat until the discomfort had eased.’
    • ‘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 fairness to Kildare they battled to the end with Hogarty soldiering forward for a late point.’
    • ‘Within two minutes the winners were level when Dempsey soldiered forward to fire over Kenneth Donelly's pass.’
    • ‘The band kept the audience in a head-bobbing, toe-tapping trance as they soldiered through two hours of Morrison and company's brilliance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The move was instigated by Dessie Keane and Kevin Browne, with McGreal soldiering through the field until reaching a scoreable position.’
    • ‘For the purposes of the review, I soldiered ahead and ordered a three-course lunch (it's a tough job, readers, but someone has to do it).’
    • ‘Michael Browne soloed through for a great score, Padraig Hurley knocked one over, Andrew McLoughlin soldiered forward from half back for a good point, before sub Brian Dunne had the final say four minutes from time.’
    • ‘Hannon frankly, and honestly, admitted that, ‘I never thought I would see this day having soldiered through some of the leanest championship years in the county's history.’’
    • ‘Padraig Brennan flighted over the second point from a placed ball on the quarter-hour and two minutes later David Hughes soldiered forward to shoot a marvellous ciotog effort.’
    • ‘Mark Walsh was another who soldiered bravely to the end, encouraging his colleagues to raise their game.’
    • ‘He was a long time friend of the late Martin Finn TD and he soldiered with Martin in many an election campaign in former times.’
    • ‘Five scoreless minutes ensued before centre back Justin Gilheaney soldiered upfield for the winners' last point, with Tadhg Fennin having the final say in the second minute of stoppage time.’
    • ‘By now MacKenzie-Smith was at midfield with Barry soldiering at full forward.’
    • ‘Clane took the initiative for a spell as Paul McCormack equalised and they forged ahead when wing back Paudie Reidy came soldiering forward for a good score on the quarter hour.’
    persevere, persist, carry on doggedly, keep on, keep going, not give up, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, follow something through, see something through, keep at it, show determination, press ahead, press on, stay with something, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, be pertinacious, stand one's ground, stand fast, stand firm, hold on, hold out, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, plough on, grind away
    hang on, plug away, peg away, stick to one's guns, stick at it, stick it out, hang in there, bash on
    View synonyms


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