soldier

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English[edit]

Soldiers.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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 Old English cempa (English kemp) from Latin campus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

soldier (plural soldiers)

  1. A member of a ground-based army, of any rank.
  2. (by extension, nonstandard) Any member of a military, regardless of specialty.
  3. An enlisted member of a military service, as distinguished from a commissioned 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, [] Hibernia Press, [] By John Morrison, 1809:
      It were meet that any one, before he came to be a captain, should have been a soldier.
  4. A guardsman.
  5. A member of the Salvation Army.
  6. A low-ranking gangster or member of a gang, especially the mafia, who engages in physical conflict.
  7. (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.
  8. A term of approbation for a young boy.
  9. Someone who fights or toils well.
    • 2004, Eminem, "Like Toy Soldiers", Encore, Shady Records
      [L]et 'em know how important it is to have Runyon Avenue soldiers up in our corners; their loyalty to us is worth more than any award is.
  10. The red or cuckoo gurnard (Chelidonichthys cuculus).
  11. 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.
  12. (slang, dated) A red herring (cured kipper with flesh turned red).

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

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 notes[edit]

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

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