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

  • transitive v. To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.
  • transitive v. To gain or secure control of by or as if by force of arms: scientists battling to conquer disease; a singer who conquered the operatic world.
  • transitive v. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force: I finally conquered my fear of heights. See Synonyms at defeat.
  • intransitive v. To be victorious; win.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to defeat in combat; to subjugate
  • v. to overcome an abstract obstacle
  • v. to gain, win, or obtain by effort
  • v. to acquire by force of arms, win in war

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To gain or acquire by force; to take possession of by violent means; to gain dominion over; to subdue by physical means; to reduce; to overcome by force of arms; to cause to yield; to vanquish.
  • transitive v. To subdue or overcome by mental or moral power; to surmount
  • transitive v. To gain or obtain, overcoming obstacles in the way; to win.
  • intransitive v. To gain the victory; to overcome; to prevail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To overcome the resistance of; compel to submit or give way; gain a victory over; sub-due by force of arms, or by superior strength or power of any kind: as, to conquer the enemy in battle, or an antagonist in a prize-fight; to conquer a stubborn will, or one's passions.
  • To overcome or surmount, as obstacles, difficulties, or anything that obstructs.
  • To gain or secure by conquest; obtain by effort: as, to conquer peace.
  • Synonyms and Overcome, Vanquish, Conquer, Subdue, Subjugate, to overpower, overthrow, defeat, beat, rout, worst, discomfit, humble, crush, subject, master, agree in the general idea expressed by overcome, namely, that of becoming superior to by an effort. The most conspicuous use of these words is in relation to physical struggles, as in war, wrestling, etc., but they refer also to struggles of mind, as in statesmanship, debate, chess, etc. An important difference among them is the implied duration of the victory, overcome and vanquish not reaching beyond the present, conquer implying a good deal of permanence, and subdue and subjugate containing permanence as an essential idea. Overcome is not so strong as vanquish, the former expressing a real victory, but the latter also a complete or great one. Canquer is wider and more general than vanquish, and may imply a succession of struggles or conflicts, while vanquish and overcome refer more commonly to a single conflict. Alexander the Great conquered Asia in a succession of battles, and vanquished Darius in one decisive engagement. In this respect subdue and subjugate are like conquer. Subdue may express a slower, quieter process than conquer. Subjugate is the strongest; it is to bring completely under the yoke. See defeat.
  • To make a conquest; gain the victory.

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

  • v. overcome by conquest
  • v. to put down by force or authority
  • v. take possession of by force, as after an invasion


Middle English conqueren, from Old French conquerre, from Vulgar Latin *conquaerere, from Latin conquīrere, to procure : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + quaerere, to seek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French conquerre, from Late Latin conquaerere ("to knock, strike; to search for, procure"), from con- + quaerere ("to seek, acquire"). (Wiktionary)



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