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1. a low-ranking member of the Mafia or other organized crime ring
2. 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


A brick laid vertically with the longer, narrow face exposed. See also: Brick


a serving member of an army. In its original sense the term meant a ‘hired man’, reflecting the fact that in premodern states, with some exceptions (e.g. Roman), rather than being conscripted to a citizen army, soldiers were recruited to the personal service of rulers or warlords on a more ad hoc basis. Compare STANDING ARMY.



(1) An enlisted man.

(2) In the broad sense, a warrior, a military man, or a military veteran.

(3) In the figurative sense, a person who has devoted himself to a cause, for example, a soldier of the revolution.

The term “soldier” originally meant a mercenary warrior who was paid for his service; it appeared in Italy in the 15th century and later gained currency in Western Europe. In Russia, the term (soldat) appeared in the 17th century with the formation of infantry regiments of the new order, modeled on Western European armies. In the regular Russian Army beginning in the 18th century, a recruit received the rank of soldier after a specified time of service. Serfs conscripted under the system of compulsory service recruitment (18th and first half of the 19th century) were emancipated and passed into the soldiers’ estate (soldatskoe soslovie), which included the soldiers’ wives and children.

After the abolition of serfdom in 1861 and the introduction of the compulsory military service system in 1874, the soldiers’ estate ceased to exist, and personnel of the lower ranks—from private to acting officer—were no longer officially called soldiers; the term “soldier” was retained only in the expression “new soldier” (molodoi soldat) to designate recruits who had not yet completed the program of basic training.

After the February Revolution of 1917, the designation “lower rank” was replaced with the rank of soldier in accord with the March 5 order of the military authority. Withthe formation of the Red Army, low-ranking enlisted men were given the rank of krasnoarmeets (“Red Army soldier”) beginning in January 1918. In July 1946 the category of soldier, which included the ranks of private and private first class, was introduced in the Soviet armed forces (seeMILITARY RANKS).



soldier, 1
1. A brick that is laid on end, i.e., positioned vertically with its narrower face showing on the wall surface; compare with sailor.
2. Same as soldier pile.

soldier pile, soldier

1. In excavation work, a vertical member which takes the side thrust from horizontal sheeting or from walings and which is supported by struts across the excavation.
2. A vertical member used to prevent the movement of formwork; is held in place by struts, bolts, or wires.
References in periodicals archive ?
Above, Midland war hero Pte F G Miles, the only Private soldier in the Gloucestershire Regiment ever to be awarded the Victoria Cross.
Stewart, from Port Soy, Banff, was also a private soldier at the time of the alleged murder in November 2002.
If I was a private soldier standing there in the desert and listening to him, most of what he said would have meant nothing to me.
To have a man of his maturity as a private soldier is a good influence on younger soldiers and he has a very good head on him.
What this meant was that the private soldier got eighty cents a day instead of the normal forty cents.
He was a 21-year-old private soldier when he played football in no man's land with the Germans on December 25, 1915 on the Western Front in northern France.
One of Britain's outstanding soldiers was Field-Marshal Sir William Robertson, who rose from private soldier to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff in the days when, in the caste-ridden British Army, it was almost impossible for an ordinary soldier to get beyond the rank of sergeant-major.
Training was designed to give the private soldier a much greater awareness of his objectives.
I enjoy portraying a private soldier because we tend to give too much light to the leaders and commanders of armies.
Former private soldier Tam, mum-of-one Sam Fingland and Alan Gilmour have been so successful in the project, a recruitment drive is being launched to find Navigators to work in Edinburgh.
Earnings loss benefits will now equal 90 per cent of the last salary earned--up from 75 per cent--BUT lower ranks will be based on the earnings of a trained private soldier.

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