insurgency

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

Definition of insurgency

2 : 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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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 His government has sparred repeatedly with neighboring countries and international powers over election delays, alleged army abuses and cooperation with Russian mercenaries in the fight against the Islamist insurgency. Reuters, CNN, 22 July 2022 The fact that the Rajapaksa brothers helped brutally suppressed and defeated a three-decade Tamil insurgency bolstered their credentials among Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists and consolidated their grip on power. Neil Devotta, The Conversation, 18 July 2022 But with the insurgency stretching into its 15th year, many analysts are convinced that the militants cannot be defeated militarily. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 17 July 2022 As Nigeria's jihadi insurgency in the northeast has abated somewhat, the violence in the northwest has worsened, according to authorities. Chinedu Asadu, ajc, 10 July 2022 As Nigeria's jihadi insurgency in the northeast has abated somewhat, the violence in the northwest has worsened, according to authorities. Chinedu Asadu, BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2022 Mass pro-Western protests ensued, toppling Mr. Yanukovych, and Mr. Putin responded by seizing Crimea from Ukraine and fomenting a separatist insurgency that took control of parts of the eastern Donbas region. New York Times, 23 June 2022 Russia’s aspiration to make it into the ‘Big 4’ has turned to dust with the war, while Mozambique’s hopes to be a major force are on indefinite hold after the terrorist insurgency underway since 2019. Wood Mackenzie, Forbes, 16 June 2022 But Ukrainian officials and outside analysts say the insurgency is growing. Peter Weber, The Week, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of insurgency

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of insurgency was in 1803

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insurgency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurgency. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for insurgency

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

More from Merriam-Webster on insurgency

Nglish: Translation of insurgency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insurgency for Arabic Speakers

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