October 12, 2012
recruit (noun)
\rih-KROOT\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a newcomer to a field or activity; especially : a newly enlisted or drafted member of the armed forces
How do you use it?
For Mitch, the most difficult part of being an army recruit was being forced to get out of bed so early in the morning.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think happened around the time "recruit" came into English?

"Recruit" came into English in the mid-1600s, around the time of the English Civil Wars. The word was borrowed from the French, who formed the noun "recrute" (meaning "fresh growth") from their verb "recroistre," which means "to grow up again." ("Recroistre" comes from the Latin "rescrescere," from "crescere," "to grow.") The French saw a likeness between a fresh growth of plants and a fresh supply of soldiers, and they started using the word "recrute" for the new soldiers. The English borrowed the word as "recruit," using it as both a noun and a verb. "Recruit" is now used for a newcomer to any field, not just the battlefield.
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