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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Anti-migration political insurgencies at home make compromise harder, as Angela Merkel is learning in Germany. The Economist, "Europe’s passport-free zone faces a grim future," 21 June 2018 Monitoring groups say the crackdown and insurgency that followed has caused the deaths of about half a million Syrians and sent 5 million more into exile. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "Syrian army raises flag above city considered as birthplace of uprising against Assad," 12 July 2018 The Afghan government expects the gathering to term the Taliban insurgency and use of suicide attacks in Afghanistan as unlawful, like similar such meetings have recently in Kabul and in Jakarta. Sayed Salahuddin, BostonGlobe.com, "Fresh violence kills over 15 in Afghanistan as Islamic scholars debate Taliban war," 11 July 2018 Afghan security forces, which number 195,000 soldiers and more than 150,000 police, have struggled to combat the insurgency. Rahim Faiez, Fox News, "Peace in Afghanistan more elusive as Taliban shrug off talks," 11 July 2018 By some accounts, the growing conflict over resources has become deadlier than Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist insurgency. Sam Olukoya, The Seattle Times, "Report: 86 killed in Nigeria as farmers, herders clash," 25 June 2018 Most observers think that indiscriminate killings by the army and the forcing of people into garrison towns are fuelling the insurgency. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 The military, said Milley, is still trying to determine if the shooter was from the Taliban or another insurgency or just an angry Afghan soldier. Lolita C. Baldor, chicagotribune.com, "Army ponders changes after insider attack that killed soldier in Afghanistan," 14 July 2018 And yet despite a virulent insurgency since the mid-1960s, power continues to transfer peacefully in that nation. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of insurgency

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insurgency

Share insurgency

Statistics for insurgency

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insurgency

The first known use of insurgency was in 1803

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on insurgency

What made you want to look up insurgency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!