AskDefine | Define soldiers

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Noun

soldiers
  1. Plural of soldier

Verb

soldiers
  1. third person singular of soldier

Extensive Definition

A soldier is a general English term that refers to a member of a land component of national armed forces who are without officer's commission, and serve in the rank variously equivalent to a private.
In most societies of the world, "soldier" is also a general term for any member of the land forces including commissioned or Non-commissioned officers.

Etymology

The word soldier is derived from an Old French word, itself a derivation of Solidarius, Latin for someone who served in the armed forces for pay, as opposed to warriors in tribal society where every grown man is automatically a member of his clan's fighting force. Solidare in Latin means "to pay"; Roman soldiers were paid in solidi, so-called because they were a new type of solid gold coin brought in after a reform of the Roman money system.

Non-English equivalents

The common Romance origin for the words soldier and payment survives not only in French as soldat and solde, but also in other languages, like German Soldat and Sold, Spanish soldado and sueldo, Portuguese soldado and soldo, Dutch soldaat and soldij, Italian "soldato" and "soldo", Arabic "Gondi" and "moganad" and many other languages.
In the Russian language the world soldier is also "солдат" ("soldat"), although it is not related to the Russian word for money, but was borrowed from German use. In some languages the word soldier is derived from different etymology, for example Estonian "sõdur" is derived from word "sõda," which means "war."

Occupational specialities

In most armed forces the word soldier has been mostly abandoned with increasing specialisation in military occupations that require different areas of knowledge and skill-sets, and have been replaced by names which reflect Arm, Service or Branch of individual's service, type of unit or operational employment or technical use such as: trooper, Commando, dragoon, infantryman, marine, paratrooper, ranger, sniper, engineer, or a sapper.

Other terms

In some English speaking countries soldiers serving in specific occupations are referred to by terms other then their occupational name. For example military police personnel are known as "redheads" from the colour of their berets, and in the United States Army, artillerymen are sometimes referred to as "redlegs," from the branch color for artillery.

Other uses

A soldier who no longer serves in the armed forces is often called a veteran, a term which can also apply to a long-serving or experienced soldier who is still in the army.
soldiers in Arabic: جندي
soldiers in Azerbaijani: Əsgər
soldiers in Bulgarian: Войник
soldiers in Czech: Voják
soldiers in Welsh: Milwr
soldiers in Danish: Soldat
soldiers in Pennsylvania German: Soldaat
soldiers in German: Soldat
soldiers in Spanish: Soldado
soldiers in Esperanto: Soldato
soldiers in Korean: 군인
soldiers in Italian: Soldato
soldiers in Japanese: 軍人
soldiers in Javanese: Prajurit
soldiers in Hebrew: חייל
soldiers in Kazakh: Әскер
soldiers in Latin: Miles
soldiers in Latvian: Kareivis
soldiers in Lithuanian: Karys
soldiers in Dutch: Soldaat
soldiers in Norwegian: Soldat
soldiers in Polish: Żołnierz
soldiers in Portuguese: Soldado
soldiers in Quechua: Awqaq
soldiers in Russian: Солдат
soldiers in Simple English: Soldier
soldiers in Finnish: Sotilas
soldiers in Swedish: Soldat
soldiers in Thai: ทหาร
soldiers in Turkish: Asker
soldiers in Ukrainian: Солдат
soldiers in Yiddish: סאלדאט
soldiers in Chinese: 军人
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