See also: Soldier



Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English soudeour, from Old French soudier or soudeour (mercenary), from Medieval Latin soldarius (soldier (one having pay)), from Late Latin solidus, a type of coin. Displaced native Old English cempa.



soldier (plural soldiers)

  1. A member of an army, of any rank.
  2. A private in military service, as distinguished from an officer.
    • 1633, Edmund Spenser, A Vewe of the Present State of Irelande  [], Dublin: [] Sir James Ware; reprinted as A View of the State of Ireland [], Dublin: [] the Society of Stationers, [] Hibernian Press,  [] By John Morrison, 1809:
      It were meet that any one, before he came to be a captain, should have been a soldier.
  3. A guardsman.
  4. A member of the Salvation Army.
  5. A low-ranking member of the mafia who engages in physical conflict.
  6. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A piece of buttered bread (or toast), cut into a long thin strip for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.
    • 2008, Nicholas Drayson, A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, page 180:
      Beside his egg was a plate of buttered toast, already cut up into soldiers.
  7. A term of approbation for a young boy.
  8. Someone who fights or toils well.
  9. The red or cuckoo gurnard (Chelidonichthys cuculus).
  10. One of the asexual polymorphic forms of termites, in which the head and jaws are very large and strong. The soldiers serve to defend the nest.
  11. (slang, dated) A red herring (cured kipper with flesh turned red).


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


soldier (third-person singular simple present soldiers, present participle soldiering, simple past and past participle soldiered)

  1. (intransitive) To continue steadfast; to keep striving.
  2. (intransitive) To serve as a soldier.
  3. (intransitive) To intentionally restrict labor productivity; to work at the slowest rate that goes unpunished.
  4. (transitive, slang) To take a ride on (another person's horse) without permission.
    • 1917, Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh, After many days: being the reminiscences of Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh:
      It was the first time I had ever “soldiered” a horse. Soldiering means using a horse without the owner's leave or knowledge. Two of our lost horses we never found. Probably some one was soldiering them!

Usage notesEdit

Originally from the way that conscripts may approach following orders. Usage less prevalent in the era of all-volunteer militaries.


Derived termsEdit


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit