an·ar·chist | \ˈa-nər-kist, -ˌnär-\

Definition of anarchist 

1 : a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power

2 : a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from anarchist

anarchist or anarchistic \ˌa-nər-ˈkis-tik, -(ˌ)när- \ adjective

Examples of anarchist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tuesday, May 20, 1913 One year after being run out of the city by vigilantes at the climax of the free speech riots of 1912, anarchist leader Emma Goldman again attempted to visit San Diego., "May 20, 1913: Emma Goldman returns," 20 May 2018 In the mid-60s, a group of artsy Dutch anarchists called Provo wanted to rage against the machine. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Divvy at 5: Chicago’s bike share is better than ever," 18 June 2018 Centuries’ worth of contrapuntal development that led to Bach’s sublime fugues and Bartok’s wondrous string quartets was seemingly discarded by the stroke of a musical anarchist. Mark Swed,, "Four radical and radically original pieces of music that blew up the modernist status quo in 1968," 21 Apr. 2018 Turner was perversely inspired by one theme of the 2016 American election, one that envisioned the GOP candidate as a kind of punk rock anarchist: volatile, transgressive, a purposeful spectacle. James Sullivan,, "Frank Turner comes to town for six nights of not being a role model," 21 June 2018 Frick was later shot and stabbed in his office by an anarchist who heard of the strike, but survived. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Last month, far-right groups physically assaulted the left-leaning mayor of Thessaloniki, and in recent months Rounicon, an anarchist group, has stormed Greece’s top administrative court, tax offices and even the parliament. Deborah Ball, WSJ, "Aftereffects of Eurozone Crisis Plague Europe’s South," 1 June 2018 The short version of the Haymarket Affair is that on May 4, 1886, workers, labor leaders, and anarchists gathered in Haymarket Square, a particularly wide stretch of Randolph near Desplaines in the West Loop. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / History / Politics Remembering the Haymarket Affair and the city's attempts to forget it," 1 May 2018 About 700 left-wing and anarchist protesters took part in the counterdemonstration. Niki Kitsantonis,, "Thousands of Greeks protest over right to name ‘Macedonia’," 4 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anarchist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of anarchist

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anarchist

see anarchy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anarchist

Statistics for anarchist

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anarchist

The first known use of anarchist was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for anarchist



English Language Learners Definition of anarchist

: a person who believes that government and laws are not necessary

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on anarchist

Spanish Central: Translation of anarchist

Nglish: Translation of anarchist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anarchist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on anarchist

What made you want to look up anarchist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!