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[ri-kroot] /rɪˈkrut/
a newly enlisted or drafted member of the armed forces.
a new member of a group, organization, or the like.
a fresh supply of something.
verb (used with object)
to enlist (a person) for service in one of the armed forces.
to raise (a force) by enlistment.
to strengthen or supply (an armed force) with new members.
to furnish or replenish with a fresh supply; renew.
to renew or restore (the health, strength, etc.).
to attempt to acquire the services of (a person) for an employer:
She recruits executives for all the top companies.
to attempt to enroll or enlist (a member, affiliate, student, or the like):
a campaign to recruit new club members.
to seek to enroll (an athlete) at a school or college, often with an offer of an athletic scholarship.
verb (used without object)
to enlist persons for service in one of the armed forces.
to engage in finding and attracting employees, new members, students, athletes, etc.
to recover health, strength, etc.
to gain new supplies of anything lost or wasted.
Origin of recruit
1635-45; < French, stem of recruter, derivative of recrue new growth, noun use of feminine past participle of recroître (re- re- + croître < Latin crēscere to grow; cf. crescent)
Related forms
recruitable, adjective
recruiter, noun
unrecruitable, adjective
unrecruited, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recruit
  • We can't afford to send university staff members around the world to recruit.
  • Infectious endocarditis causes spleen to recruit enough monocytes to help fight infection.
  • More promising are programmes that recruit an elite group for a career in teaching.
  • Meanwhile, he continues to recruit scientists to study the case.
  • Tumors cannot grow unless they recruit their own private blood supply.
  • Often, they are coached to recruit more investors to enrich themselves further.
  • To do so, we'd need to recruit volunteers of varying races and health levels-ideally hundreds for each substance.
  • Universities recruit professors worldwide in ambitious overhaul.
  • It will also look at the challenges facing companies as they compete to recruit the best talent.
  • Since then he has managed to recruit people from the school as well as the churches, bars, or any place he can find them.
British Dictionary definitions for recruit


  1. to enlist (men) for military service
  2. to raise or strengthen (an army, navy, etc) by enlistment
(transitive) to enrol or obtain (members, support, etc)
to furnish or be furnished with a fresh supply; renew
(archaic) to recover (health, strength, spirits, etc)
a newly joined member of a military service
any new member or supporter
Derived Forms
recruitable, adjective
recruiter, noun
recruitment, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French recrute literally: new growth, from recroître to grow again, from Latin recrēscere from re- + crēscere to grow
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 recruit

1630s, "to strengthen, reinforce," from French recruter (17c.), from recrute "a levy, a recruit" (see recruit (n.)). Sense of "to enlist new soldiers" is attested from 1650s; of student athletes, from 1913. Related: Recruited; recruiting.


"military reinforcement, one of a newly raised body of troops," 1640s, from recruit (v)., replacing earlier recrew, recrue; or from obsolete French recrute, alteration of recreue "a supply," recrue "a levy of troops" (late 16c.), Picardy or Hainault dialect variant of recrue "a levy, a recruit," literally "new growth," from Old French recreu (12c.), past participle of recreistre "grow or increase again," from re- "again" (see re-) + creistre "to grow," from Latin crescere "to grow" (see crescent). "The French word first appeared in literary use in gazettes published in Holland, and was disapproved of by French writers in the latter part of the 17th c." [OED]. The French word also is the source of Dutch recruut, German Recrut, Swedish rekryt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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