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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.
Entomology. a member of a caste of sexually underdeveloped female ants or termites specialized, as with powerful jaws, to defend the colony from invaders.
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.
verb (used without object)
to act or serve as a soldier.
Informal. to loaf while pretending to work; malinger: He was soldiering on the job.
Verb phrases
soldier on, to persist steadfastly in one's work; persevere: to soldier on until the work is done.

1250–1300; Middle English souldiour < Old French soudier, so(l)dier, equivalent to soulde pay (< Latin solidus; see sol2) + -ier -ier2

soldiership, noun
nonsoldier, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
soldier (ˈsəʊldʒə)
1.  a.  a person who serves or has served in an army
 b.  Also called: common soldier a noncommissioned member of an army as opposed to a commissioned officer
2.  a person who works diligently for a cause
3.  a low-ranking member of the Mafia or other organized crime ring
4.  zoology
 a.  an individual in a colony of social insects, esp ants, that has powerful jaws adapted for defending the colony, crushing large food particles, etc
 b.  (as modifier): soldier ant
5.  informal a strip of bread or toast that is dipped into a soft-boiled egg
6.  to serve as a soldier
7.  obsolete, slang to malinger or shirk
[C13: from Old French soudier, from soude (army) pay, from Late Latin solidus a gold coin, from Latin: firm]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. soudier "one who serves in the army for pay," from M.L. soldarius "a soldier" (cf. It. soldato and Fr. soldat "soldier," which is borrowed from It.), lit. "one having pay," from L.L. soldum, from acc. of L. solidus, a Roman gold coin (see solidus). The
verb meaning "to serve as a soldier" is first recorded 1647; to soldier on "persist doggedly" is attested from 1954.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Not even the adrenaline kick and camaraderie of soldiering.
Soldiering on in the face of setbacks, after all, is a key ingredient for
Except for war, soldiering with them wasn't at all bad.
Besides soldiering, he was known as a skilled mariner and shipbuilder.
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