verb (used without object)

  1. to enroll, usually voluntarily, for military service: He decided to enlist in the Marines.
  2. to enter into some cause, enterprise, etc.

verb (used with object)

  1. to engage for military service: to enlist men for the army.
  2. to secure (a person, services, etc.) for some cause, enterprise, etc.: They enlisted us to serve as ushers at the meeting.


  1. to enter or persuade to enter into an engagement to serve in the armed forces
  2. (tr) to engage or secure (a person, his services, or his support) for a venture, cause, etc
  3. (intr foll by in) to enter into or join an enterprise, cause, etc

1590s, from en- (1) “make, put in” + list (n.). Possibly suggested by Dutch inlijsten “to write on a list.” Related: Enlisted; enlisting.

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