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early 14c., a merged word from Old French conquest "acquisition" (Modern French conquêt), and Old French conqueste "conquest, acquisition" (Modern French conquête), both from past participle of conquerre, from Vulgar Latin *conquaerere (see conquer).
in international law, the acquisition of territory through force, especially by a victorious state in a war at the expense of a defeated state. An effective conquest takes place when physical appropriation of territory (annexation) is followed by "subjugation" (i.e., the legal process of transferring title)