To enlist is to voluntarily join the military. You may have seen television commercials or posters encouraging people to enlist.

There are various ways people end up in the military. Sometimes there's a draft, which selects people whether they want to go or not. Sometimes people enlist, which means they sign up on their own. Enlisting also refers to recruiting or hiring people for some purpose or organization. If you are moving, you might try to enlist your friends to help — good luck with that.

Definitions of enlist
  1. verb
    join the military
    see moresee less
    enroll into service compulsorily
    type of:
    sign up
    join a club, an activity, etc. with the intention to join or participate, "Sign up for yoga classes"
  2. verb
    engage somebody to enter the army
    synonyms: draft, muster in
    see moresee less
    discharge, muster out
    release from military service
    levy, raise, recruit
    cause to assemble or enlist in the military
    type of:
    enrol, enroll, enter, inscribe, recruit
    register formally as a participant or member
  3. verb
    hire for work or assistance
    synonyms: engage
    see moresee less
    seek to employ
    type of:
    procure, secure
    get by special effort
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week