from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who serves in an army.
  • noun An enlisted person or a noncommissioned officer.
  • noun An active, loyal, or militant follower of an organization.
  • noun A nonreproductive ant or termite that has a large head and powerful jaws.
  • noun One of a group of honeybees that swarm in defense of a hive.
  • intransitive verb To be or serve as a soldier.
  • intransitive verb To make a show of working in order to escape punishment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A scorpænoid fish, Gymnapistes marmoratus, of Tasmania.
  • noun A labroid fish, Pseudolabrus miles, of New Zealand.
  • noun A percoid fish, Etheostoma cœruleum, of the United States.
  • noun An artificial fly used in bass-fishing.
  • 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).
  • noun One who receives pay, especially for military service.
  • noun A person in military service
  • noun One who serves in the land forces, as opposed to one serving at sea.
  • noun Hence, one who obeys the commands and contends in the cause of another.
  • noun One of the rank and file, or sometimes including non-commissioned officers as opposed to commissioned officers.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In zoology: One of that section of a colony of some kinds of ants which does the fighting, takes slaves, etc.; a soldier-ant.
  • noun The corresponding form in a colony of white ants or termites.
  • noun A soldier-beetle.
  • noun A sort of hermit-crab; also, a fiddler-crab.
  • noun The red gurnard, Trigla cuculus.
  • noun A red herring.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The stump, or unsmoked part, of a cigar. See snipe, 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To serve as a soldier.
  • intransitive verb Colloq.U.S. To make a pretense of doing something, or of performing any task.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Especially, a private in military service, as distinguished from an officer.
  • noun A brave warrior; a man of military experience and skill, or a man of distinguished valor; -- used by way of emphasis or distinction.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The red or cuckoo gurnard (Trigla pini.)
  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an American carabid beetle (Chauliognathus Americanus) whose larva feeds upon other insects, such as the plum curculio.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any hemipterous insect of the genus Podisus and allied genera, as the spined soldier bug (Podius spinosus). These bugs suck the blood of other insects.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The fiddler crab.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a bright-colored etheostomoid fish (Etheostoma cœruleum) found in the Mississippi River; -- called also blue darter, and rainbow darter.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of numerous species of small dipterous flies of the genus Stratyomys and allied genera. They are often bright green, with a metallic luster, and are ornamented on the sides of the back with markings of yellow, like epaulets or shoulder straps.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a large geometrid moth (Euschema militaris), having the wings bright yellow with bluish black lines and spots.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of orchis (Orchis militaris).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A member of an army, of any rank.
  • noun A guardsman.
  • noun A member of the Salvation Army.
  • noun UK, New Zealand A piece of buttered bread (or toast), cut into a long thin strip and dipped into a soft-boiled egg.


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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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  • 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 Thomas De Quincey 1822

  • 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 2008

  • 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 14, 2008 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 Howard C. Hillegas 1895

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

    The Seattle Times 2011

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

    NPR Topics: News 2011

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

    ENagar 2009

  • 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” 2009

  • 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' 2009

  • 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 2009


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  • "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

  • Newfoundland nickname for the Purple Sandpiper.

    January 12, 2009