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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A brick laid vertically with the longer, narrow face exposed. See also: Brick
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
She admits that such unity, however, is undercut by enduring "ethnic rebellion" between the Irish and other country elements of Henry's army, by the recalcitrant brotherhood of thieves figured in the trio of Pistol, Bardolph, and Nim, and by the "severed body parts" that the common soldier Williams says may persist and deny the brotherhood formed by the Last Judgment (162, 167).
Andrew West's VIETNAM: A VIEW FROM THE FRONT LINES (9781849089722, $25.95) is based on the collection housed at the National Archives, the Center of Military History, and at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech, and provides the reader with a common soldier's view of Vietnam conflicts, from the rice paddies and swamps of the Mekong to the Marine bases around the DMZ.
Bell Irvin Wiley's classic study of the common soldier in the Confederate army, The Life o f Johnny Reb, was path breaking when it was published in 1943.
Bradley, who served under General Dwight Eisenhower and commanded General George Patton, was known for being a pragmatic and disciplined leader who deftly managed the battlefield and acted in the best interest of the common soldier. The Pentagon's choice to memorialize the new APC after Bradley would ultimately prove ironic given the mismanagement of the entire development program.
The first real American decoration meant for the common soldier, 1.7 million Purple Hearts have been awarded, including 4,400 since Sept.
"I think the common soldier sometimes has up to 130 pounds of gear, which is unbelievable when you think about it," Zweers said.
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
The title of the program will be "The Common Soldier of the Civil War."
Second, the community utilized a multitude of symbols--the common soldier of the Confederacy as the primary key to independence, the wicked northerner, and the invincible southerner--that created a perceived sense of cohesion, purpose, and optimism.
Although King Henry still makes some prominent appearances, Agincourt examines this battle from the perspective of a common soldier. Critics agreed that the nonstop action and gory violence may not appeal to all readers.
Literary classics such as The Red Badge of Courage and a number of modern historical studies--notably the works on the common soldier by Bell Wiley and James McPherson--have attempted to grapple with the question of why some soldiers fight and die, while others run away.