guer·​ril·​la | \ gə-ˈri-lə How to pronounce guerrilla (audio) , ge-, g(y)i- \
variants: or guerilla

Definition of guerrilla

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage (see sabotage sense 2) Guerrillas controlled half the country.



Definition of guerrilla (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or suggestive of guerrillas especially in being aggressive, radical, or unconventional guerrilla warfare

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Examples of guerrilla in a Sentence

Noun The guerrillas controlled half the country.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some even fear a flare-up of the violence between Catholics and Protestants that the peace accord ended after the 30-year guerrilla war known as the Troubles. Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 May 2022 During that time, one of his brothers was killed while fighting in a revolutionary guerrilla movement in Kenya. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2022 My dad came from a very working-class neighborhood in Lima, and in the ‘90s, that neighborhood and all of Lima were gripped in guerrilla war. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 Maduro has claimed that the Colombian guerrilla groups are part of an effort by the Duque government to destabilize Venezuela. Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2022 On Monday, Col. Carlos Martinez of the Colombian police announced an investigation had been launched into the murder, and blamed local guerrilla groups. Stefano Pozzebon And Ana Victoria Cucalón, CNN, 15 Oct. 2021 His son, Hari, is a rebel operating from the forest in a guerrilla war with the landlords and is enraged by the news of his father’s death. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 Apr. 2022 Ukrainian leaders called on citizens to join in guerrilla war this week as Russian forces gained ground on the coast and took over one major port city., 6 Mar. 2022 As Russian forces advance on strategic points in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities on Thursday called on compatriots to launch a guerrilla war against Russian forces. oregonlive, 3 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Experts say ex-guerrilla fighters, who once occupied the most remote parts of Colombia’s jungles, forests, mountains, and savannas, are uniquely prepared to aid scientists with ongoing conservation efforts. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Aug. 2020 That was the year that social media really started to take off, which gave restaurants and bars this megaphone to kind of guerrilla market on their own., 11 Sep. 2019 Paolo Luers, a journalist and former guerrilla press officer who became part of Mijango’s team, told me. Daniel Castro, Harper's magazine, 10 June 2019 Maybe a little too guerrilla style for some of the crews. Gary Thompson,, 5 Apr. 2018 Her interviews were guerrilla achievements and global events. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2017 See More

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


1809, in the meaning defined above


1811, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for guerrilla

Noun and Adjective

Spanish guerrilla, from diminutive of guerra war, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra strife — more at war

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Time Traveler for guerrilla

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The first known use of guerrilla was in 1809

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Guerrilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for guerrilla


variants: or guerilla \ gə-​ˈri-​lə \

Kids Definition of guerrilla

: a member of a group carrying on warfare but not part of a regular army


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