conscription

[kuh n-skrip-shuh n]

noun

compulsory enrollment of persons for military or naval service; draft.
a compulsory contribution of money to a government during a time of war.

Nearby words

  1. consciousness-raising,
  2. conscribe,
  3. conscript,
  4. conscript fathers,
  5. conscriptee,
  6. conscriptionist,
  7. consecrate,
  8. consecration,
  9. consecution,
  10. consecutive

Origin of conscription

1350–1400 for earlier sense “piece of writing”; 1795–1805 for current senses; Middle English conscripcioun < Latin conscrīptiōn- (stem of conscrīptiō) a drawing up in writing, levying of troops, equivalent to conscrīpt(us) (see conscript) + -iōn- -ion

Related formscon·scrip·tion·al, adjectivean·ti·con·scrip·tion, nounnon·con·scrip·tion, nounpro·con·scrip·tion, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conscription


British Dictionary definitions for conscription

conscription

noun

compulsory military service
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for conscription

conscription

n.

late 14c., "a putting in writing," from Middle French conscription, from Latin conscriptionem (nominative conscriptio) "a drawing up of a list, enrollment, a levying of soldiers," from conscribere "to enroll," from com- "with" (see com-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).

Meaning "enlistment of soldiers" is from 1520s; the sense "compulsory enlistment for military service" (1800) is traceable to the French Republic act of Sept. 5, 1798. Technically, a conscription is the enrollment of a fixed number by lot, with options of providing a substitute.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper