guerrilla

noun
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.

guerrilla

adjective

Definition of guerrilla (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of guerrilla in a Sentence

Noun

The guerrillas controlled half the country.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Every weekend, there is urban guerrilla warfare, and the smoke and stinging smell of tear gas is almost unavoidable. The Economist, "Protesters are fighting for an open society," 20 Aug. 2019 Then there were the women, enslaved and free, who offered covert or open resistance in the form of guerrilla warfare. Brenda Wineapple, The New Republic, "Who wrote women out of Civil War history?," 16 Aug. 2019 After being ousted from power in 1979, the Khmer Rouge waged guerrilla warfare for another two decades before disintegrating. Washington Post, "Nuon Chea, ideologue of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, dies at 93," 5 Aug. 2019 Rakhine State, a ribbon of marsh and mountain on the western coast of Myanmar, is isolated in the best of times, racked by guerrilla warfare and ethnic cleansing that takes place far from international scrutiny. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden?," 2 July 2019 Admiration for French fare did not divert Benito Juárez from waging a successful guerrilla war; in less than five years the archduke was overthrown. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019 Jesús Santrich, a former commander in the FARC, a Colombian guerrilla group, who had become a politician, disappeared. The Economist, "Politics this week," 6 July 2019 In 2015 the government of the former Marxist guerrilla group FMLN tried to jail two American citizens for bringing private investment to the energy sector. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "About Trump’s Migrant Problem," 16 June 2019 This culminated in the payment of $60 million to the Montoneros, a Peronist guerrilla group, for the release of the brothers Juan and Jorge Born, executives at the grain-exporting firm Bunge & Born and the sons of its president. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "Kidnapping: A Very Efficient Business," 9 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Paolo Luers, a journalist and former guerrilla press officer who became part of Mijango’s team, told me. Daniel Castro, Harper's magazine, "The Truce," 10 June 2019 Maybe a little too guerrilla style for some of the crews. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "Tommy Chong: 'The whole reason for making marijuana illegal was to prosecute black and brown people'," 5 Apr. 2018 Her interviews were guerrilla achievements and global events. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "The Life of Oriana Fallaci, Guerrilla Journalist," 16 Oct. 2017

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

Noun

1809, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

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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Statistics for guerrilla

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guerrilla

The first known use of guerrilla was in 1809

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More Definitions for guerrilla

guerrilla

noun

English Language Learners Definition of guerrilla

: a member of a usually small group of soldiers who do not belong to a regular army and who fight in a war as an independent unit

guerrilla

noun
guer·​ril·​la
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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