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[en-list] /ɛnˈlɪst/
verb (used without object)
to enroll, usually voluntarily, for military service:
He decided to enlist in the Marines.
to enter into some cause, enterprise, etc.
verb (used with object)
to engage for military service:
to enlist men for the army.
to secure (a person, services, etc.) for some cause, enterprise, etc.:
They enlisted us to serve as ushers at the meeting.
1690-1700; en-1 + list1
Related forms
enlister, noun
preenlist, verb
unenlisted, adjective
2. volunteer, join. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enlisted
  • Town band, after town band enlisted with the local regiments.
  • The first draft was not yet called, and the boys who had rushed off and enlisted were in training camps far away.
  • Sometimes it works, as when the radio industry enlisted the government's help to launch television as a replica of radio.
  • Living quarters for the enlisted sailors remains cramped, of course.
  • But researchers have now enlisted some of the best known bird-disease experts in the world.
  • Scientists have also enlisted the public's help in the photo identification of whale sharks.
  • And it has enlisted nearly a million village volunteers to watch for unusual chicken die-offs.
  • The scientists enlisted village health aides to identify those who needed help.
  • Our own work indicates that the mirror system can be enlisted to expedite the rehabilitation of hemorrhagic stroke patients.
  • They also enlisted the help of several other laboratories to confirm their findings.
British Dictionary definitions for enlisted


to enter or persuade to enter into an engagement to serve in the armed forces
(transitive) to engage or secure (a person, his services, or his support) for a venture, cause, etc
(intransitive) foll by in. to enter into or join an enterprise, cause, etc
Derived Forms
enlister, noun
enlistment, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for enlisted



1590s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + list (n.). Possibly suggested by Dutch inlijsten "to write on a list." Related: Enlisted; enlisting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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