Definition of conquer in English:



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

    ‘the Magyars conquered Hungary in the Middle Ages’
    • ‘Little in our history prepares us to administer conquered territories.’
    • ‘He seems much less concerned with conquering territory than with exerting what might be termed feudal control over his neighbours.’
    • ‘In 1393, the town was conquered by the Ottoman army and burned to the ground.’
    • ‘Capital is conquering the world, making the earth a gigantic cesspool of exploitation.’
    • ‘A country which once conquered the commercial world now fails to make the most of the global market place.’
    • ‘Sometimes, conquering the capital city isn't the only way to bring about a victory.’
    • ‘By controlling the countryside, they conquered the towns.’
    • ‘Until now, we have read this history as a hero story in which the clever human lineage triumphantly conquers the world.’
    • ‘Another Dark Lord has risen to conquer the world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Traditional Chinese medicine is destined to conquer the world.’
    • ‘Once his home territories were settled, Alexander set out to conquer new territory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ego's perverted version of this noble drive is the desire for power and control, the urge to conquer the world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to them it was God's own destiny for them to conquer the entire continent to bring it under the U.S. control.’
    • ‘Differential pay rates and the prospect of becoming a professional salaried officer encouraged ambition; estates in newly conquered territories were a final reward.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Over 40 works conquer the difficulties of reproducing prints that are large, dark and detailed.’
      • ‘The challenge, he says, is to conquer those troubles, for that is what life is about.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each flag signals that the driver of the vehicle is clinically obese, and would welcome help from passers-by in conquering the problem.’
      • ‘Last year, 58 addicts were treated, of which around 20 are believed to have conquered their problems.’
      • ‘Both have conquered adversity, overcoming significant injuries.’
      • ‘She said children should learn how to conquer setbacks and ought not sacrifice their dreams at the altar of their inhibitions.’
      • ‘The former had conquered her problems, the latter was oblivious of hers.’
      • ‘Thrilled with my progress, and under the assumption I had conquered my problem, I fell back into my old ways.’
      • ‘Such is her commitment to conquering her problem that she regularly goes twice a day to group counselling’
      • ‘Learning to conquer setbacks with a smile on one's face is in itself a great achievement.’
      • ‘To conquer this problem, we used a second beamsplitter to introduce integrated in-line illumination in the system.’
      • ‘By overlapping cells, the network conquers the line-of-sight problem, enabling customers to roam.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Neither problem was fully conquered here, still less with the dodgy leaps at the close.’
      • ‘He is a role model who conquered adversity, remained in school, and now looks forward to a promising future.’
      • ‘To conquer mold, you must also conquer moisture problems.’
      • ‘To researchers who enjoy conquering the technological problems of creating a nanotech world, these social, legal and regulatory concerns may seem like dull things.’
      • ‘Who, after all, could deride the allocation of funding to the process of conquering the problems associated with those issues?’
      • ‘Here is the one who could unite interests and conquer problems, and yet, he isn't really a choice at all.’
      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 American to conquer Everest’
      • ‘We were unwilling to waste energy conquering the high peak.’
      • ‘He doesn't have to wrestle a bear, conquer a mountain or solve the theory of relativity.’
      • ‘Let's just say that it sounds like the concern was for nothing since the ladies conquered the mountain like champs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I learned that you never really conquer a mountain; you are just blessed to spend time on one.’
      • ‘Without stopping they had conquered an awesome mountain 20 minutes faster than the experts expect serious cyclists to complete the challenge.’
      • ‘Be ready to come home exhausted, having given it your all for three straight weeks and possibly still not conquered the summit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘He recalls how he first conquered the holy mountain.’
      • ‘To conquer this peak one has to climb on rock and ice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A Scottish doctor has died in a climbing accident on Mont Blanc, moments after fulfilling his dream to conquer the mountain.’
      • ‘The expedition, that was flagged off on Thursday, will start the climb this week-end and have 15 days to conquer the peak.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It would seem that at least one Scottish filmmaker has conquered another mountain.’
      • ‘It took a week to conquer the summit from base camp during a two-month expedition.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the moment the band is conquering the world.’
      • ‘Establishing themselves first in the highly competitive Cork music scene, they then went north to Dublin to conquer the capital.’
      • ‘For a time in the 1970's they were the British band that conquered America.’


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’.