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 anarchistic (audio) , -​(ˌ)när-​ \ adjective

Examples of anarchist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or Natalie Portman as a British anarchist in V for Vendetta? Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Halsey Shows Off a Fresh Buzz Cut," 20 Oct. 2020 Signal Fails, an anonymous zine recently published on several anarchist Web sites, warns against dependency on a centralized service, particularly one running on mobile devices. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Taking Back Our Privacy," 19 Oct. 2020 One of the ways in which these are practiced is mutual aid, a term that was coined in 1902 by anarchist theorist Peter Kropotkin as a rebuttal to Social Darwinism. Sophie Hayssen,, "What Trump Doesn’t Understand About Anarchists," 14 Aug. 2020 According to reports from The Enquirer's sister publication in Columbus, the man wasn't an anarchist or Dessner. Ian Mckenzie,, "The National's guitarist was mistaken for 'person of interest' after Columbus protest," 11 June 2020 One of the first anarchist thinkers, William Godwin, wrote that old books are the bodies of ghosts. Isabelle Frémeaux, The New York Review of Books, "David Graeber, 1961–2020," 5 Sep. 2020 Perhaps the biggest reason for the long gestation was that Tolstoy was beginning to wrestle with the thoughts and feelings that, later in life, would lead him to renounce his wealth and become a pacifist and Christian anarchist. Terry W. Hartle, The Christian Science Monitor, "Tolstoy suffered writer’s block as he worked on ‘Anna Karenina’," 3 Sep. 2020 The university's decision in 2004 not to continue his contract generated controversy at the time, with Graeber and others suggesting the decision may have been motivated by his anarchist activism. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "David Graeber, author and activist known for popularizing the phrase 'We are the 99%,' dies," 3 Sep. 2020 The former French patrol boat is named after a French feminist anarchist and comparatively faster than other rescue vessels, according to The Guardian. Washington Post, "Migrant rescue boat funded by street artist Banksy pleads with Europe to let it ashore," 29 Aug. 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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Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anarchist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce anarchist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anarchist

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

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