Definition of recruit in English:



  • 1Enlist (someone) in the armed forces.

    ‘they recruit their toughest soldiers from the desert tribes’
    no object ‘the regiment was still actively recruiting’
    • ‘The Army has learned through painful experience and proudly proclaims that it recruits soldiers, but retains families.’
    • ‘The regular army and the National Guard continued to recruit volunteers, and the draft was held to remedy any deficiencies.’
    • ‘Putting it bluntly, the Army needs to recruit those for infantry and other front line combat units who are prepared to advance upon and kill others, albeit in a disciplined and trained manner.’
    • ‘They will, therefore, continue to recruit officers and soldiers and offer young men the opportunity to serve in one of the best infantry battalions.’
    • ‘Naismith was recruited into the army at the start of World War I, but suffered gassing in the trenches which ruined his health.’
    • ‘To that end, and upon the approval of the Secretary of Defense, the Army will recruit, train and bring into the force an additional 4,800 soldiers this year.’
    • ‘The U.S. military, as always, is actively recruiting new members.’
    • ‘From 1994, it started to recruit children systematically and even created children's regiments.’
    • ‘Qualified combatants could be recruited for the national army and the police force.’
    • ‘The Chief of Defence Staff said to achieve this, the military would have to recruit new soldiers between two and three times annually and build additional bases.’
    • ‘Preparing newly recruited soldiers for immediate combat after graduation was not the main mission of basic training and advanced individual training a few years ago.’
    • ‘Their soldiers are recruited from the U.S. Army, mainly from the Special Forces Green Berets and Rangers.’
    • ‘In 1941, she proceeded to England where the British Special Operations Executive recruited her.’
    • ‘They are also actively recruiting people for officer training with 70 cadets brought on board last October and a further 70 are due to be taken on in the next few weeks.’
    • ‘The Navy is actively recruiting young men and women into its ranks at the moment and offers a wide and varied career to anyone interested in taking up a career at sea.’
    • ‘Despite some less than optimistic predictions, we have recruited the right soldiers and kept the best and brightest troops in the Army so we can match the right faces to the correct places.’
    • ‘Many other Western countries have also accumulated considerable experience in recruiting women for service in the modern armed forces.’
    • ‘Many of the unemployed youth who were recruited into the army as cannon fodder in its vicious war against the country's Tamil minority have deserted.’
    • ‘Murray and Scales also argue that the United States should recruit different leaders for the specialized units needed for the asymmetrical battlefield.’
    • ‘Such a policy would make it easier to recruit soldiers and officers because their pay would be more competitive with the civilian market.’
    enlist, sign up, enrol, engage, take on, round up
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    1. 1.1 Form (an army or other force) by enlisting new people.
      ‘a basis for recruiting an army’
      • ‘When the pope added debt relief for the families of those who fought, he had no trouble recruiting an army.’
      • ‘The state tolerated this situation, for it enabled it to recruit the army and raise taxes directly from the peasantry, without intermediaries.’
      • ‘To counter the offensive the British authorities began to recruit a special force for deployment in Ireland.’
      • ‘As early as 1889, the Chamber of Mines recruited a labor force of black workers.’
      • ‘The industrial labour force was recruited from a number of sources.’
      • ‘A new force was recruited, trained and dispatched by mid-August.’
      • ‘He is planning to forge even closer links with the public to help achieve this, recruiting an army of volunteers to supplement the work already being done by officers, special constables and community support officers.’
      • ‘Now we are recruiting an army for direct action.’
      • ‘Instead, he recruited a force of his own, consisting of out-of-uniform black officers from cities up and down the East Coast.’
      • ‘Is he planning on recruiting an army or something?’
      • ‘The new paramilitary forces will be recruited from two sources: tribes and former army members.’
      • ‘He started recruiting his army and sent an estimated 4,000 men to Afghanistan for training.’
      • ‘The Bengal army was recruited not from Bengal itself but from northern India, especially from Awadh.’
      • ‘The first conscript armies were recruited in France to fight the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.’
      • ‘And conscription was only used to recruit the militia, a reserve army never now mobilized except in wartime.’
      • ‘Meanwhile airport bosses have recruited an army of private security workers to prevent the airport from grinding to a halt.’
      • ‘For now he's working behind the scenes, trying to build up a $250,000 war chest and recruit an army of campaigners.’
      • ‘And the Government has frittered away a huge fortune by recruiting a vast army of non-productive civil servants.’
      • ‘A company is recruiting an army of retired plumbers in a new approach to tackling the skills shortage.’
      muster, form, raise, bring together, gather together, assemble, mobilize, marshal, round up, call to arms
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    2. 1.2 Enroll (someone) as a member or worker in an organization or as a supporter of a cause.
      ‘there are plans to recruit more staff later this year’
      • ‘In the same year, she was recruited as a member of the Shanghai Photographic Association.’
      • ‘I have recruited excellent staff members at restaurants, athletic clubs, and even traveling on an airplane!’
      • ‘A national voluntary organisation is recruiting new members for their Laois branch.’
      • ‘She turned around to see Sandy, the crew member who'd recruited her.’
      • ‘There are also plans to recruit junior doctors, so more staff will be on hand to treat patients.’
      • ‘She has served on the Membership Committee and has been involved in recruiting students and new members.’
      • ‘But the workers are beginning to recruit new union members from this shift.’
      • ‘Now 10 extra permanent staff are being recruited to replace the agency workers.’
      • ‘I do know that the organization is trying to recruit new members in this state, and that over two thousand of the current members are here.’
      • ‘It can cost about £4,000 to recruit a new staff member, including advertising costs, training and the costs to the business of an unfilled vacancy.’
      • ‘Actually, I'm trying to recruit a new team member at the moment (we're in online customer service).’
      • ‘With my health clubs, the most effective marketing has always been to reward members for recruiting their friends, family and work colleagues.’
      • ‘Waterford Chamber of Commerce are fully aware of the difficulties that its members are experiencing in recruiting suitable employees.’
      • ‘He was doing poorly in school, and gang members were trying to recruit him.’
      • ‘There are also plans to recruit an extra member of staff to help with the audio work.’
      • ‘Turnover is the exception, and openings are promptly filled when they occur, often by candidates recruited by current staff members.’
      • ‘He eventually went to Cambridge University, and here Moscow recruited him as a member of the KGB.’
      • ‘They never mention whether our young people are recruited as white-collar workers or just underpaid, overworked laborers over there.’
      • ‘It will be very difficult in this short space of time for parties and candidates to recruit staff, organise and launch their campaigns and obtain the necessary funding.’
      • ‘As the easiest way to get people to share your values is to hire people who already do, more organisations now recruit people with the right attitude, then train them in the skills they need.’
      hire, employ, take on, take into one's employ
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    3. 1.3informal with object and infinitive Persuade (someone) to do or assist in doing something.
      ‘she recruited her children to help run the racket’
      • ‘It has recruited celebrities and members of the public from across the Spanish-speaking world to read a section of the book each day.’
      • ‘Some organizations openly recruit students to inform on their teachers.’
      • ‘To combat this, they are hoping to recruit dentists to do only NHS work.’
      • ‘Security officials also have warned of plots by retired military officers to recruit soldiers on active duty to launch a coup d'état.’
      • ‘Schoolchildren have been recruited to persuade rail passengers that there is nothing funny about ‘leaves on the line’.’
      • ‘They have been recruited to persuade citizens to report local villains.’


  • 1A person newly enlisted in the armed forces and not yet fully trained.

    ‘3,000 army recruits at Ft. Benjamin’
    • ‘In fact, in 2002 it was reported that 60 percent of all female recruits would serve in military positions previously excluded to them.’
    • ‘Medical officers examined new recruits for physical fitness to regular army standards.’
    • ‘Students with no other income are a major source of recruits for the part-time Army.’
    • ‘This program allows qualified civilian recruits to enlist specifically for Special Forces training.’
    • ‘The abuse of new recruits to our Army, while criminal, also greatly impedes successful recruitment efforts.’
    • ‘The new recruits adapted well to military life and, although a few deserted or turned on their officers, proved loyal to the United States.’
    • ‘Around half of the new army's recruits have deserted or failed to make the grade, U.S. trainers say, leaving only about 2,500 soldiers.’
    • ‘Only by reducing the army and applying higher enlistment standards to all recruits could racial violence be reduced, essential in an army that is now one-third black.’
    • ‘Of the 20 who began the course earlier this year two have already enlisted and will begin recruit training at HMAS Cerberus in January.’
    • ‘The intention is to influence many of those new recruits into becoming Army Reserve officers.’
    • ‘Once minimally trained, most new recruits are quickly set out on the battlefield.’
    • ‘Walsh had enlisted as a recruit with the Marines during 1933.’
    • ‘To help meet its 2005 recruiting objectives, the Army's recruiting command has lowered some standards for recruits.’
    • ‘Yet in 1993, when the Commandant of the Marine Corps proposed that recruits be limited to single persons only, he was publicly rebuked.’
    • ‘The advanced soldier course will be in place for the first recruits marching into the Army Recruit Training Centre in February 2005.’
    • ‘The recruits they train are all volunteers who, unlike draftees dragged kicking and screaming into camp, willingly seek military service.’
    • ‘This archive consists of hundreds of images of naked men, presumably fresh conscripts and army recruits, taken for an unknown kind of ethnographic exercise.’
    • ‘To put it baldly, we now have overpaid recruits and underpaid sergeants.’
    • ‘The new troops will train 1,000 raw recruits for the Sierra Leone army at a special camp.’
    • ‘In addition, at least since the inception of the all-volunteer Army, the United States has never filled the Army exclusively with male recruits.’
    conscript, new soldier
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    1. 1.1 A new member of an organization or a new supporter of a cause.
      ‘after agreeing on a salary, the new recruit failed to turn up on Monday morning’
      • ‘All the student organizations are clamoring to find new recruits from among the freshmen, and anybody else who cares to come.’
      • ‘She plans to increase the organisation's recruits from 2,000 to just over 3,000 within the next three years.’
      • ‘The 500 members left in the district are pinning their hopes on a recruitment drive on Saturday, February 1, when each member is asked to bring a new recruit along.’
      • ‘They have had no trouble recently filling eight apprenticeships with local recruits, including some who are Aboriginal.’
      • ‘Most of the members have returned to their homeland and the local recruits did not stay on very long.’
      • ‘Their Search and Rescue Team has about 50 members and this week launched an appeal for new recruits.’
      • ‘Think again if onerous charges are imposed should the staff member want to transfer to another scheme, or if recruits are not allowed to join the scheme within three months of joining the company.’
      • ‘The staff wasn't prepared to mentor them; staff members mostly bit their tongues when the new recruits messed up.’
      • ‘David had been serving the club the previous day in his capacity as trainer of new recruits.’
      • ‘The recruits undertake an initial two-week intensive course in Barrow, before starting their two-year probationary period with the crew.’
      • ‘The organization is finding it difficult to get new recruits.’
      • ‘The answer lies in the fact that, while the Advisory Council may be a recent creation, its members are not new recruits.’
      • ‘Fewer than a third of Labour party new recruits are now members of trade unions, the same proportion as in the population as a whole.’
      • ‘Researchers studied the corporate structure of each organisation for its suitability in developing creativity, and interviewed recruits about their initial experiences.’
      • ‘And thanks to an appeal in the Evening Advertiser for more members earlier this month, new recruits have been signing up to join the project in Parks and Walcot.’
      • ‘Andersen Consulting is currently paying its student recruits £10,000 as a ‘golden hello’.’
      • ‘We had no reports of recent antibiotic use and no reports of lice among the family members of recruits during the trial.’
      • ‘Several jobs with salaries of up to £45,000, are now being advertised, as department chiefs begin to look outside the organisation to find recruits prepared to work in the town.’
      • ‘On the other hand, every pastor affirmed that if church members or new recruits are known to have AIDS they will be supported and treated well within the church.’
      • ‘In both cases, 55 per cent of respondents said these were pushing their organisation to attract recruits from minority groups.’
      new member, new entrant, newcomer, new boy, new girl, initiate
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Mid 17th century (in the senses ‘fresh body of troops’ and ‘supplement the numbers in a group’): from obsolete French dialect recrute, based on Latin recrescere ‘grow again’, from re- ‘again’ + crescere ‘grow’.