insurgency

noun
in·​sur·​gen·​cy | \in-ˈsər-jən(t)-sē \
plural insurgencies

Definition of insurgency 

1 : the quality or state of being insurgent specifically : a condition of revolt against a government that is less than an organized revolution and that is not recognized as belligerency

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Did You Know?

Insurgencies fall into the category of "irregular warfare", since an insurgency normally lacks the organization of a revolution, even though it has the same aims. Revolutions often begin within a country's armed forces, whereas insurgencies often arise in remote areas, where they gain strength slowly by winning the confidence of rural populations. An insurgency may be based on ethnic or religious identity, or its roots may be basically political or economic. Since insurgencies are rarely strong enough to face a national army head-on, insurgents (often called guerrillas) tend to use such tactics as bombing, kidnapping, hostage taking, and hijacking.

Examples of insurgency in a Sentence

there always seems to be insurgency of some type in that troubled country

Recent Examples on the Web

Jammu and Kashmir on India's border with Pakistan is a state facing an endless roiling insurgency over continued Pakistani claims to the territory. Sam Kiley, CNN, "How a child rape revealed the problems facing modern India," 17 May 2018 The escalating conflict is now claiming more lives than an insurgency in the north-east of the country by jihadist groups, including Boko Haram. The Economist, "Politics this week," 26 Apr. 2018 Rajapaksa has been accused of allowing war crimes and other human rights abuses under his watch, particularly during the final, brutal push to end the insurgency — including attacks on civilians and denial of humanitarian aid. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Dueling prime ministers and assassination plots: an escalating crisis in Sri Lanka," 1 Nov. 2018 Today silenced weapons are being used in combat, especially during irregular warfare like the insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Science of Russia's New Silent Sniper Rifle," 29 Aug. 2018 Egypt's security and intelligence services haves lists of Palestinians allegedly involved in the Islamic insurgency and anti-government attacks during the 2011 uprising that forced longtime President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The Christian Science Monitor, "In humanitarian gesture, Egypt keeps Rafah crossing open through Ramadan," 18 May 2018 In a study of insurgencies from 1900 to 2006, scholars Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan found that campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts. The Christian Science Monitor, "A nonviolent movement challenges Pakistan’s military," 22 June 2018 But his government has struggled to contain an Islamic State insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and is seeing resentment grow in the working class over its handling of the economy. Amira El Fekki, WSJ, "Egypt Replaces Ministers Overseeing Security, Economy," 14 June 2018 Image The deaths came on the eve of separate but overlapping cease-fires, one declared by the Afghan government and the other by the Taliban insurgency, to mark the end of Ramadan, the holy month of daytime fasting. New York Times, "In Advance of Cease-Fires, Bombings in Afghanistan Kill at Least 18," 11 June 2018

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

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for insurgency

The first known use of insurgency was in 1803

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More Definitions for insurgency

insurgency

noun

English Language Learners Definition of insurgency

: a usually violent attempt to take control of a government : a rebellion or uprising

insurgency

noun
in·​sur·​gen·​cy | \in-ˈsər-jən-sē \
plural insurgencies

Legal Definition of insurgency 

: the quality or state of being insurgent specifically : a condition of revolt against a recognized government that does not reach the proportions of an organized revolutionary government and is not recognized as belligerency

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