insurgency

noun
in·​sur·​gen·​cy | \ in-ˈsər-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce insurgency (audio) \
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

In one corner is President Muhammadu Buhari, the former military junta leader who returned to power in 2015 elections on a promise to defeat Nigeria’s Islamist insurgency and quell rampant corruption. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Nigeria’s Election Gets Under Way After a Stop-Start Runup," 23 Feb. 2019 Oil-rich Nigeria struggles against multiple security challenges, including the decade-old Boko Haram extremist insurgency, and Buhari’s 2015 election was a rare peaceful transfer of power. Bashir Adigun, The Seattle Times, "Nigeria denies judge’s suspension influenced by election," 28 Jan. 2019 Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has faced the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, with more than 20,000 people killed and thousands abducted. Washington Post, "Macron parties at Fela Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine in Nigeria," 4 July 2018 Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has faced the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, with more than 20,000 people killed and thousands abducted. Sam Olukoya, Fox News, "Macron parties at Fela Kuti's New Afrika Shrine in Nigeria," 4 July 2018 The weak central government in Kabul and the resilient Taliban insurgency are not the U.S. military's only problems there. Robert Burns, chicagotribune.com, "Amid little scrutiny, U.S. military ramps up in Afghanistan," 10 Mar. 2018 There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack bore the hallmarks of the local Islamic State affiliate which spearheads a militant insurgency in northern Sinai. Ashraf Sweilam, The Seattle Times, "Roadside bomb hits police convoy in Egypt’s Sinai, kills 1," 14 Jan. 2019 Al-Shaer and the other passengers ended up spending the night there, ahead of a trip by bus Thursday through the turbulent Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian security forces have been battling an insurgency by Islamic militants. Fares Akram, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Gazans, an open border crossing still presents barriers," 25 May 2018 Members of the minority fought an armed insurgency against the government for greater rights in 2001. Konstantin Testorides, Fox News, "Macedonia or North Macedonia? Vote tests a nation's identity," 28 Sep. 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

19 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce insurgency (audio) \
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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