adjective re·bel·lious \-yəs\

: fighting against a government

: refusing to obey rules or authority or to accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc. : having or showing a tendency to rebel

Full Definition of REBELLIOUS

a :  given to or engaged in rebellion <rebellious troops>
b :  of, relating to, or characteristic of a rebel or rebellion <a rebellious speech>
:  resisting treatment or management :  refractory
re·bel·lious·ly adverb
re·bel·lious·ness noun

Examples of REBELLIOUS

  1. <the rebellious troops fought a pitched battle with divisions still loyal to the government>
  2. <expected her son to grow a little more rebellious as he got older, but she knew he understood when to kick and when to obey>

First Known Use of REBELLIOUS

15th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


Next Word in the Dictionary: rebellyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: rebellionAll Words Near: rebellious
May 22, 2015
nepotism Hear it
favoritism based on kinship
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears