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Borrowed from German Soldat, itself a borrowing from Italian soldato, from Vulgar Latin solidatus (salaried (soldier)). The word was borrowed into German in the first half of the 16th century, and into Latvian probably between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. Its first mentions are in 17th-century sources.[1]


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zaldāts m (1st declension)

  1. (dated) soldier (especially in the czar's or in the German army)
    (aiz)iet zaldātosto start military service (lit. to go to the soldiers)
    noņemt zaldātosto recruit (lit. to take into the soldiers' )
    zaldātu naudasoldier's money (historically, money paid to escape military duty)
    stāt kā zaldātsto stand like a soldier (i.e., perfectly upright)
    vecs Pirmā pasaules kara zaldātsan old World War I soldier

Usage notes[edit]

The words karavīrs and kareivis have mostly replaced zaldāts in contemporary usage.




  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “zaldāts”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN