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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 ?
It's military history fiction at its best, it's a novel about political entanglements and human interests, and it's the story of three common soldiers and how their decisions change the face of American history: all this wrapped in a cloak of action and strong characterization.
The book begins with the Duke of Wellington's famous quote about his army's common soldiers being the scum of the earth.
The flagship New York store will offer a quartet of intricately hand-hewn Samurai battle armor designed in the traditional fashion for high-ranking officers, including one worn by the film's star Tom Cruise, as well as armor for common soldiers and uniforms representing both old and modern styles of the Imperial Army.
is taking gamers to the frontlines of combat with Call of Duty(TM), a new umbrella brand that lets players experience the dramatic intensity of war through the eyes of common soldiers.
But then, as our author points out, these were mere common soldiers -- in contemporary eyes dispensable.
These stories will be told -- in the words of the participants -- from the perspectives of the commanders, the common soldiers, the civilians and the war correspondents.
of Southern Mississippi) examines how European militaries reflected the development of nationalism during the century, concentrating on the experience of common soldiers.
Did the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars produce anything like the memorials to common soldiers who died in the two world wars, which one finds in every French village and town?
Desertion from the Confederate army did not make Cunningham a traitor to the United States and, along with most other common soldiers, he received a general amnesty.
Yet Russell discerns deeper meanings in these theatricals: the officers "could test their sense of national identity," which "meant excluding" common soldiers, women, escaped slaves and Native Americans.
Yet since common soldiers started carrying automatic or burst-fire rifles, American citizens have no longer had access to up-to-date military small arms, and federal law now even restricts their access to semi-automatic variations of these guns.
178), and speculate on why common soldiers in the Civil War were willing to fight and die.