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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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      We conquered France, but felt our captive's charms.
  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. To gain, win, or obtain by effort.
    to conquer freedom;   to conquer a peace

Derived termsEdit