recruit

Definitions

General English

Medical

  • verb to get people to join the staff or a group

Military

  • noun a newly enlisted serviceman or servicewoman, who is undergoing basic training
  • verb to encourage or persuade people to join the armed forces, and then arrange for them to do so
  • abbreviationRct

Travel

  • verb to take on as an employee

Origin & History of “recruit”

Etymologically, a recruit is something that ‘grows again’. The word’s ultimate ancestor is Latin recrēscere ‘regrow’, a compound verb formed from the prefix re- ‘again’ and crēscere ‘grow’ (source of English crescent, increase, etc). This passed into French as recroître, whose feminine past participle in the standard language was recrue. In the dialect of northeastern France, however, it was recrute, and it was this, used as a noun meaning ‘new growth’, hence ‘reinforcement of troops’, that gave English recruit.
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