- a person who serves in an army; a person engaged in military service.
- an enlisted man or woman, as distinguished from a commissioned officer: the soldiers' mess and the officers' mess.
- a person of military skill or experience: George Washington was a great soldier.
- a person who contends or serves in any cause: a soldier of the Lord.
- Also called button man. Slang. a low-ranking member of a crime organization or syndicate.
- a member of a caste of sexually underdeveloped female ants or termites specialized, as with powerful jaws, to defend the colony from invaders.
- a similar member of a caste of worker bees, specialized to protect the hive.
- a brick laid vertically with the narrower long face out.Compare rowlock(def 2).
- Informal. a person who avoids work or pretends to work; loafer; malingerer.
- to act or serve as a soldier.
- Informal. to loaf while pretending to work; malinger: He was soldiering on the job.
- soldier on, to persist steadfastly in one's work; persevere: to soldier on until the work is done.
Origin of soldier
- (intr, adverb) to persist in one's efforts in spite of difficulties, pressure, etc
- a person who serves or has served in an army
- Also called: common soldiera noncommissioned member of an army as opposed to a commissioned officer
- a person who works diligently for a cause
- a low-ranking member of the Mafia or other organized crime ring
- an individual in a colony of social insects, esp ants, that has powerful jaws adapted for defending the colony, crushing large food particles, etc
- (as modifier)soldier ant
- informal a strip of bread or toast that is dipped into a soft-boiled egg
- to serve as a soldier
- obsolete, slang to malinger or shirk
Word Origin for soldier
c.1300, souder, from Old French soudier, soldier "one who serves in the army for pay," from Medieval Latin soldarius "a soldier" (cf. Spanish soldado, Italian soldato and French soldat "soldier," which is borrowed from Italian), literally "one having pay," from Late Latin soldum, extended sense of accusative of Latin solidus, name of a Roman gold coin (see solidus). The -l- has been regular in English since mid-14c., in imitation of Latin. Willie and Joe always say sojer in the Bill Mauldin cartoons, and this seems to mirror 16c.-17c. spellings sojar, soger, sojour.
"to serve as a soldier," 1640s, from soldier (n.). Related: Soldiered; soldiering. To soldier on "persist doggedly" is attested from 1954.