Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who serves in an army.
  • n. An enlisted person or a noncommissioned officer.
  • n. An active, loyal, or militant follower of an organization.
  • n. A sexually undeveloped form of certain ants and termites, having large heads and powerful jaws.
  • n. One of a group of honeybees that swarm in defense of a hive.
  • intransitive v. To be or serve as a soldier.
  • intransitive v. To make a show of working in order to escape punishment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of an army, of any rank.
  • n. A guardsman.
  • n. A member of the Salvation Army.
  • n. A piece of buttered bread (or toast), cut into a long thin strip and dipped into a soft-boiled egg.
  • n. A term of affection for a young boy.
  • n. Someone who fights or toils well
  • v. To continue.
  • v. To be a soldier.
  • v. To intentionally restrict labor productivity; to work at the slowest rate that goes unpunished. Has also been called dogging it or goldbricking. (Originally from the way that conscripts may approach following orders. Usage less prevalent in the era of all-volunteer militaries.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who is engaged in military service as an officer or a private; one who serves in an army; one of an organized body of combatants.
  • n. Especially, a private in military service, as distinguished from an officer.
  • n. A brave warrior; a man of military experience and skill, or a man of distinguished valor; -- used by way of emphasis or distinction.
  • n. The red or cuckoo gurnard (Trigla pini.)
  • n. One of the asexual polymorphic forms of white ants, or termites, in which the head and jaws are very large and strong. The soldiers serve to defend the nest. See Termite.
  • intransitive v. To serve as a soldier.
  • intransitive v. To make a pretense of doing something, or of performing any task.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To serve as a soldier: as, to go soldiering.
  • To bully; hector.
  • To make a pretense or show of working, so as to be kept upon the pay-roll; shirk; feign sickness; malinger. See soger, 2.
  • To make temporary use of (another man's horse).
  • n. One who receives pay, especially for military service.
  • n. A person in military service
  • n. One who serves in the land forces, as opposed to one serving at sea.
  • n. Hence, one who obeys the commands and contends in the cause of another.
  • n. One of the rank and file, or sometimes including non-commissioned officers as opposed to commissioned officers.
  • n. Emphatically, a brave warrior; a man of military experience, skill, or genius; a man of distinguished valor; one possessing the distinctive carriage, looks, habits, or traits of those who make a profession of military service: as, he is every inch a soldier.
  • n. In zoology: One of that section of a colony of some kinds of ants which does the fighting, takes slaves, etc.; a soldier-ant.
  • n. The corresponding form in a colony of white ants or termites.
  • n. A soldier-beetle.
  • n. A sort of hermit-crab; also, a fiddler-crab.
  • n. The red gurnard, Trigla cuculus.
  • n. A red herring.
  • n. One who makes a pretense of working, but is really of little or no use; one who works no more than is necessary to secure pay. See soger, 2.
  • n. plural A name of the red campion (Lychnis diurna), of the ribwort (Plantago lanceolata), and of various other plants. Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant Names.
  • n. The stump, or unsmoked part, of a cigar. See snipe, 3.
  • n. A scorpænoid fish, Gymnapistes marmoratus, of Tasmania.
  • n. A labroid fish, Pseudolabrus miles, of New Zealand.
  • n. A percoid fish, Etheostoma cœruleum, of the United States.
  • n. An artificial fly used in bass-fishing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an enlisted man or woman who serves in an army
  • n. a wingless sterile ant or termite having a large head and powerful jaws adapted for defending the colony
  • v. serve as a soldier in the military

Etymologies

Middle English soudier, mercenary, from Anglo-Norman soudeour, soldeier and Old French soudoior, soudier, both from Old French sol, soud, sou, from Late Latin solidum, soldum, pay, from solidus, solidus; see solidus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English soudeour, from Anglo-Norman soudeer or soudeour 'mercenary', from Medieval Latin soldarius 'soldier (one having pay)', from Late Latin solidus, a type of coin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Note that _sepoy_, as colloquially it is called, but _sipahee_, as in books it is often written, does not mean Hindoo or Hindoo soldier, but is simply the Hindoo word for _soldier_.] [Footnote 61: '_The laurelled majesty_,' &c.

    The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg

  • DOBBS: I'm not going to speak for the general, but I got to believe he's shuttering as you use the term soldier -- because these are not soldiers, these are terrorists.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2008

  • It was so with all the Boers; none understood the term soldier as applying to anybody except their enemy, while many considered it an insult to be called a soldier, as it implied, to a certain extent, that they were fighting for hire.

    With the Boer Forces

  • "Warrior - One whose occupation is warfare; a fighting man ... applied to ... uncivilized peoples, for whom the designation soldier would be inappropriate."

    The Seattle Times

  • He used the term "soldier" there to describe members of the Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

    NPR Topics: News

  • The soldier comes from the Latin word sal dare (to give salt).

    ENagar

  • When the soldier is acting as a soldier, they are executing the policies of others who in turn are ultimately answerable for the public order of their societies, the policies of a duly elected (or otherwise legitimate) authority. zyban Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » Ending the “War on Terror”

  • In short ... re-assign if by staying in the current position, the soldier is at risk (And being gay in a Muslim country DOES qualify as being "at risk".) or combat readiness of a unit is compromised ...

    Gates considering selective enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

  • Â Being a soldier is as intrinsic to her as her orientation, perhaps more so, and I liked how deftly that balance was handled here, and the consequences of what happens when the balance was forever upset.

    Dueling Review: Detective Comics #859 | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News

  • Colds are the most common ailments in the military, he writes, because these lands are so hot and the soldier is always marching on foot and sweating ... his body becomes hot and open [abierta las carnes], then he becomes sick.

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Newfoundland nickname for the Purple Sandpiper.

    January 12, 2009

  • "I ain't got a word to say so long as the rent is paid. But when I'm soldiered out of a week's lodging, then I'm done. You get right along now. I don't know you. I ain't going to have my place get a bad name by having any South of Market Street chippies hanging around."

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, bk 2, ch. 8

    August 29, 2008