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conscientious objector

conscientious objectors

Someone who refuses to fight in a war because they think it's morally or spiritually wrong is a conscientious objector.

Some conscientious objectors serve in the military but take on roles that don't require them to fight or carry weapons: working as medics, in offices, or as chaplains. Others, who have ethical objections to the armed forces themselves, refuse to participate at all. The term's first military-related use was during World War I. Conscientious comes from a Latin root meaning "moral sense." Objector is from the verb object, "raise an argument against."

Definitions of conscientious objector
  1. noun
    one who refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience
    synonyms: CO
    see moresee less
    type of:
    contestant, dissenter, dissident, objector, protester
    a person who dissents from some established policy
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘conscientious objector'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Vocabulary.com or its editors. Send us feedback
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