(redirected from common soldiers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.


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 ?
The common soldiers are gently portrayed, like any bunch of soldiers, full of heroes and conscripts who never wanted to be there in the first place.
These reminiscences of German general officers serves as a valuable parallel to the trials and tribulations of the common soldiers of the war, and the perspectives here should not be forgotten.
The Confederate government paid for the disproportionate sacrifices of hungry common soldiers in inflated paper currency without the status of legal tender.
The literature on warfare is full of the triumphs and tragedies of common soldiers and the brilliance and blundering of generals.
In this narrative of the Continental Army from mid-1775 to early 1777, he presents a wide sampling of letters and diaries of common soldiers, along with those of their officers.
The "Digger" persona came from the margins of society, whether bushmen or larrikin common soldiers.
In addition to the 462 quotations from persons directly involved with the civil war, Ware Is All Hell is enhanced with the inclusion of dozens of period photographs arranged in accordance with civil war chronology--adding depth and dimension to the quoted citations from common soldiers to commanding generals.
Two of Sam's major themes, present in all his war pictures--the poignant victimization of children and the antiheroic portrayal of common soldiers ("dogfaces," as Sam always called them)--now are fully developed.
In this capacity, Birch worked primarily behind enemy lines and lived off the land under conditions that most common soldiers would have found unendurable.
The lifeboats were quickly taken by officers and important passengers, while the common soldiers, sailors, and settlers crowded onto an improvised raft that was supposed to be ragged by the lifeboats.
If "courage without hope" is what Tolkien witnessed among the common soldiers and what he wanted to save out of the wreck of war, irony was not the way to express it-only fairy tale would do.
The list of battle casualties tells over the names of the noble dead but lumps the common soldiers into the phrase "and of all other men / But five-and-twenty" (4.