civil disobedience


Definition of civil disobedience

: refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government

Examples of civil disobedience in a Sentence

In an act of civil disobedience, the family sent its tax money to an antiwar organization. A student organization is encouraging civil disobedience as a way to get the university to change its policies.
Recent Examples on the Web But both are matters of political dispute that shouldn't play a part in influencing how law enforcement and prosecutors respond to acts of civil disobedience. Damon Linker, The Week, 13 May 2022 The military ordered dozens of arrests to clamp down on civil disobedience for the coup’s first anniversary. Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2022 Myanmar’s military has struggled to wrangle control of the country since the coup due to a widespread civil disobedience movement comprising students, civil servants and even diplomats., 21 May 2021 To Reznicek, a veteran climate activist, the damage was justified: a nonviolent act of civil disobedience in pursuit of saving the planet. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2022 Political rallies outside elections have been banned in the country since 2016, when the government accused the opposition of wanting to use them to cause mass civil disobedience. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 Gandhi and the leaders of his party, the Indian National Congress, vigorously protested the government’s famine-inducing policy of confiscation and, days after, threatened mass civil disobedience if India wasn’t freed. Daniel Immerwahr, The Atlantic, 4 Apr. 2022 Their act of civil disobedience didn’t stop the House from approving the map, which DeSantis quietly signed into law Friday. Skyler Swisher, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Apr. 2022 The group was not planning acts of civil disobedience, according to the application. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of civil disobedience

1866, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for civil disobedience

Time Traveler

The first known use of civil disobedience was in 1866

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Dictionary Entries Near civil disobedience

civil defense

civil disobedience

civil district

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Statistics for civil disobedience

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Civil disobedience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for civil disobedience

civil disobedience

civil dis·​obe·​di·​ence

Legal Definition of civil disobedience

: refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government

More from Merriam-Webster on civil disobedience

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for civil disobedience Encyclopedia article about civil disobedience


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