coun·​ter·​in·​sur·​gen·​cy | \ˌkau̇n-tər-in-ˈsər-jən(t)-sē \

Definition of counterinsurgency 

: organized military activity designed to combat insurgency

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Other Words from counterinsurgency

counterinsurgent \ˌkau̇n-​tər-​in-​ˈsər-​jənt \ noun

Examples of counterinsurgency in a Sentence

The military has launched a counterinsurgency.

Recent Examples on the Web

Under new Pentagon leadership, Army priorities changed from counterinsurgency to countering powers such as Russia and China. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "The Army Stymied Its Own Study of the Iraq War," 22 Oct. 2018 The seminar, which is focused on riot suppression, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism, attracts a variety of attendees, including local police, immigration-enforcement agencies, and even campus police. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected," 16 July 2018 About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since the government launched a violent counterinsurgency campaign last August in western Myanmar, where most live. Washington Post, "US broadcaster loses Myanmar outlet over Rohingya name," 11 June 2018 Myanmar’s military responded with counterinsurgency sweeps and was accused of widespread human rights violations, including rape, murder, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes. Time, "The U.N. Urges Myanmar to Seek Accountability for Violence Against Rohingya," 11 May 2018 The United States has renewed its commitment to the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Mujib Mashal,, "At least 38 die in Afghan attacks, including 10 journalists," 30 Apr. 2018 Myanmar contends that the operations are legitimate counterinsurgency measures in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on border guard posts in August. Eli Meixler, Time, "Myanmar Says Its Soldiers Are to Blame For the Deaths of 10 Rohingya Found in a Mass Grave," 11 Jan. 2018 Examples of such a warplane include the A-29 Super Tucano counterinsurgency aircraft (above) and the Textron AirLand Scorpion, though the Air Force might look into entirely new designs or a derivative of the upcoming new jet trainer. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Looking Into a New Warplane To (Kind Of) Replace the A-10," 9 Mar. 2016 Avoiding such conversations was untenable with service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who were enmeshed in messy counterinsurgency campaigns that often involved close-range killing and noncombatants. New York Times, "The Wounds of the Drone Warrior," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counterinsurgency.' 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 counterinsurgency

1962, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for counterinsurgency

The first known use of counterinsurgency was in 1962

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English Language Learners Definition of counterinsurgency

: action by a group, army, etc., against people who are fighting to take control of a government

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Nglish: Translation of counterinsurgency for Spanish Speakers

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a nest or breeding place

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