an·​ar·​chist | \ ˈa-nər-kist How to pronounce anarchist (audio) , -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

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Other Words from anarchist

anarchist or anarchistic \ ˌa-​nər-​ˈki-​stik How to pronounce anarchist (audio) , -​(ˌ)när-​ \ adjective

Examples of anarchist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That year, a would-be assassin, the anarchist Emma Goldman’s boyfriend, Alexander Berkman, attacked Frick in his Pittsburgh office, shooting him twice and stabbing him repeatedly. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "When a Museum Feels Like Home," 8 Feb. 2021 In this vision of the future from the Alan Moore and David Lloyd graphic novel, an anarchist named V (Hugo Weaving) teams with a woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) to inspire the world to rise up. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best Movies on HBO Max," 1 Feb. 2021 Suave, stylish, and sophisticated, Lupin is the creation of Maurice Leblanc, who based the character partly on a French burglar/anarchist. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Lupin trailer offers a fresh retelling of classic French gentleman thief," 2 Dec. 2020 This 1988 suite of 15 blurry gray paintings about the capture, suspicious deaths and funeral of the Baader-Meinhof anarchist group meditates, appropriately, on the power of the state. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "The Word at MoMA Is ‘Rotation, Rotation, Rotation’," 12 Nov. 2020 Another would recommend a work by Peter Kropotkin, the great Russian anarchist and zoologist, which suggested that natural selection is more about cooperation among species than any fight for survival between them. Jordan Besek, The Conversation, "W.E.B. Du Bois embraced science to fight racism as editor of NAACP’s magazine The Crisis," 14 Dec. 2020 This unusual exhibition was devoted not to an artist, but to a workaholic polymath: an anarchist. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Best Art Books of 2020," 26 Nov. 2020 Caserta recorded the video in front of an anarchist's flag and a map of Michigan. NBC News, "Whitmer conspiracy allegations tied to 'boogaloo' movement," 9 Oct. 2020 The Spanish anarchist and publisher Alejandro Finisterre also claimed to have invented futbolín while recovering from injuries sustained in the Spanish Civil War, and the Englishman Harold Searles Thornton filed a patent for a similar setup in 1923. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "A Foosball Table That Elevates the Level of Play," 2 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of anarchist

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anarchist

anarchy + -ist entry 1; as a proponent of a political theory after French anarchiste.

Note: The use of the French words anarchisme and anarchiste in reference to political theory are associated with Pierre-Joseph proudhon. In his first major work, Qu'est-ce que la propriété? Recherche sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement (Paris, 1840), Proudhon used anarchiste (p.229), but not anarchisme.

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Time Traveler for anarchist

Time Traveler

The first known use of anarchist was in 1646

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Statistics for anarchist

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anarchist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of anarchist

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

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