Definition of conquest in US English:



  • 1The subjugation and assumption of control of a place or people by use of military force.

    ‘the conquest of the Aztecs by the Spanish’
    • ‘This global village was brought about first by military and political conquest and now by communication and technological influence.’
    • ‘Imperialism used to be a political and military game of land conquest and resource stealing.’
    • ‘I also learned that military conquest, regardless of the stated intentions, seldom succeeds in creating democracy.’
    • ‘Very few other nations can look back on more than a century of democratic rule unbroken by dictatorship of the left or right, civil war, military coup or conquest.’
    • ‘He might so easily have prayed that all the peoples of the world would live together in peace before he embarked on a military campaign of universal conquest, and then where would he have been?’
    • ‘Abroad he offers the glamour of moral commitment and military conquest.’
    • ‘It spread primarily through trade and military conquest.’
    • ‘States no longer need to pursue military conquest to prosper, the theory goes; trade and economic integration pave a surer path to growth.’
    • ‘Now we've talked exclusively about farmers, but we haven't looked at other types of conquest, and in particular military conquest.’
    • ‘Far less can it be imposed by any state over others even by invasion or unilateral use of force for conquest or change of regime.’
    • ‘Thus, one may question the legitimacy of subsequent wars of conquest, military campaigns to subjugate and plunder peoples, and battles to gain territory.’
    • ‘Recent history, however, suggests the existence of many relevant uses of military force besides conquest or even coercion.’
    • ‘Large numbers of soldiers and traders certainly came into the island in the early period of Roman conquest and control, along with a limited number of administrators.’
    • ‘In 59 B.C., however, Julius Caesar led Roman forces in conquest of the area, which the Romans ruled for the next 500 years.’
    • ‘Even when we consider his military conquest, we see that the driving force behind them was his attachment to God.’
    • ‘Their large numbers provided them with a measure of security from attack by their neighbors, and they are not known to have been disposed to seek military conquest.’
    • ‘Any use of military force that aims at conquest of territory, alteration of borders, interference on one side or the other of a civil war is illegitimate.’
    • ‘The use of military force for conquest and expansion is a security strategy that most leaders reject in this age of complex interdependence and globalization.’
    • ‘It is much more a war of ideas than a war of military conquest.’
    • ‘What's the solution to an artificial border drawn in the sand after military conquest?’
    defeat, beating, conquering, vanquishment, vanquishing, trouncing, annihilation, overpowering, overthrow, subduing, subjugation, rout, mastery, crushing
    seizure, seizing, takeover, acquisition, gain, appropriation, subjugation, subjection, capture, occupation, invasion, annexation, overrunning
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A territory that has been gained by the use of subjugation and military force.
      ‘colonial conquests’
      • ‘Despite its importance, little is known about this Moghul province - the last of Emperor Akbar's conquests.’
      • ‘Even though, by then, the early Arab conquests had broken up into several rival empires, many technical achievements came the way of the Muslims.’
      • ‘The scale and rapidity of the German advance into Russia, coming on top of earlier conquests, posed obvious administrative problems for the conquerors.’
      • ‘Venetia would be given to the Habsburgs, shorn of a number of outlying territories which would consolidate French conquests further west.’
      • ‘He added new lands to old and carefully consolidated his conquests by founding Greek cities abroad.’
      • ‘He claimed all the land as far west as the North Island tribes' conquests had extended.’
      • ‘The beauty of this is that Italy cannot stab Russia effectively, not being able to bring fleets to bear against the southern conquests of the Russian empire.’
      • ‘He was a strong leader, whose conquests expand the Moghul Empire to its greatest size.’
      • ‘Consolidation of such conquests by wise and intelligent administration is, on the other hand, a quiet affair and rarely engages our serious attention.’
      • ‘The next day we headed to the gay Beach Number 7, which was marked like a territorial conquest with a huge rainbow flag flapping in the breeze.’
      • ‘We have to support this resistance - by organizing the struggle here against this war machine and its drive for more conquests.’
      • ‘These conquests added big Muslim cities like Tashkent and Samarkand to the Russian Empire.’
    2. 1.2the Conquest The invasion and assumption of control of England by William of Normandy in 1066.
    3. 1.3 The overcoming of a problem or weakness.
      ‘the conquest of inflation’
      • ‘But the conquest of hunger and malnutrition requires additional links in the food chain.’
      • ‘It pledged to make the conquest of poverty, achieve the goal of full employment and foster social integration, prevailing over objectives of development.’
      • ‘These are among the reasons why the conquest of poverty has become the overarching Millennium goal of the United Nations.’
    4. 1.4 A person whose affection or favor has been won.
      ‘someone he could display before his friends as his latest conquest’
      • ‘He had no real love for her, but considered her a conquest unlike most other women.’
      • ‘Early in his stay in Madrid, a notorious star-chaser glibly informed the Spanish media that the new arrival would be the latest in her series of celebrity conquests.’
      • ‘For example, let's see some equal time given to the sexual conquests of young females at the box office.’
      • ‘Then last year the gossip columns started reporting on his notorious sexual conquests - who doesn't love a scandal?’
      • ‘Sexuality and sexual conquest, after all, can be experienced by men as humiliating and stressful as well as thrilling.’
      • ‘As the amorous side of your life goes up and down, you forage in the laundry basket of love, reselecting old flames instead of dusting yourself down and seeking new conquests.’
      • ‘She is cast as a mid-50-year-old mother of one of his potential conquests.’
      • ‘He didn't want his friends knowing about his drunken mother's tears or his philandering father's many conquests.’
      • ‘He is in a fitful mood which is compounded by an outburst at the table by a maid, who has obviously become one of his many conquests.’
      • ‘Thus, your adventures take on a mythical quality and your romances aren't just conquests, they're heart-touching encounters.’
      • ‘His need for continual sexual conquests is undoubtedly a result of rejecting the fractured family unit that created him.’
      • ‘I can't quite believe I'm asking this question at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning, but the sex warrior raised the issue of sex conquests, so here goes.’
      • ‘But even that trio of conquests didn't satisfy his rampaging appetite. He also embarked on a much-publicised affair with an actress.’
      • ‘The actor, once well known for his frequent conquests, can't seem to get enough of the Brazilian beauty even though she denies that anything as permanent as marriage is on the cards.’
      catch, acquisition, captive, prize, slave
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French conquest(e), based on Latin conquirere (see conquer).