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Borrowed from Old French conquerre, from Late Latin conquaerere (to knock, strike; to search for, procure), from Latin con- + quaerere (to seek, acquire).



conquer (third-person singular simple present conquers, present participle conquering, simple past and past participle conquered)

  1. To defeat in combat; to subjugate.
  2. To acquire by force of arms, win in war.
    In 1453, the Ottoman Empire conquered Istanbul.
  3. To overcome an abstract obstacle.
    Today I conquered my fear of flying by finally boarding a plane.
    to conquer difficulties or temptations
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      By winning words to conquer hearts, / And make persuasion do the work of fear.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
  4. (dated) To gain, win, or obtain by effort.
    to conquer freedom;   to conquer a peace

Derived termsEdit