insurgent

noun
in·​sur·​gent | \ in-ˈsər-jənt How to pronounce insurgent (audio) \

Definition of insurgent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent
2 : one who acts contrary to the policies and decisions of one's own political party

insurgent

adjective

Definition of insurgent (Entry 2 of 2)

: rising in opposition to civil authority or established leadership : rebellious

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Other Words from insurgent

Adjective

insurgently adverb

Is insurgent a new word?

Insurgent is not a particularly novel coinage; it has been in use as both a noun and an adjective for well over 200 years. Appearances of the word began to spike in the early 21st century, however, due to a combination of factors (including the appearance of such combatants in conflicts and the desire among journalists to avoid words that might seem biased, such as terrorist or freedom fighter).

The definition of the noun, which includes the phrase “a rebel not recognized as a belligerent,” refers to a specific sense of belligerent: “belonging to or recognized as an organized military power protected by and subject to the laws of war.”

Examples of insurgent in a Sentence

Noun Insurgents are trying to gain control of the country's transportation system. the government subjected the insurgents to the most inhuman torture imaginable Adjective any insurgent soldiers will be dealt with harshly
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Russia has used the deadly chemical polonium and a military-grade nerve agent against former security-service officers living in Britain, and gunned down a former insurgent from Chechnya in a Berlin park. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "State-sponsored assassination: New tools, old questions," 10 Dec. 2020 Newman also had the support of Justice Democrats, the progressive insurgent group that backed Ocasio-Cortez's upset primary win in 2018. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Illinois Rep.-elect Marie Newman rejects socialism tag; tells GOP to 'get over it'," 6 Dec. 2020 Once again Brockhouse will present himself as a conservative insurgent, eager to depict Nirenberg as an insular know-it-all who doesn’t play well with his fellow council members and doesn’t listen to the concerns of small-business owners. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Nirenberg-Brockhouse mayoral rematch begins to take shape," 2 Dec. 2020 By publicizing the more left-leaning names first, Biden might be seeking to head off discontent from the Democratic Party’s insurgent left flank. NBC News, "Biden economic picks show early shape of administration's pandemic agenda," 1 Dec. 2020 The Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Washington Post, "World Digest: Nov. 27, 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 When the Marine stepped inside, one insurgent would shoot him while the other—who was hiding by the door—would drag him deep into the house. Elliott Ackerman, Wired, "A Navy SEAL, a Quadcopter, and a Quest to Save Lives in Combat," 30 Oct. 2020 The attack was claimed by the Baluchistan Liberation Front, a secessionist insurgent group that has operated in the region for decades. Abdul Sattar, Star Tribune, "Pakistan officials: Militants ambush oil convoy, killing 15," 15 Oct. 2020 Even more compelling is that the book’s hero, CIA analyst Elora Monro, ends up becoming romantically entangled with Zaidan Al-Sadiq, the right-hand man of the very Iraqi insurgent who killed her fiancé. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Love in the time of espionage in ‘New Dawn Underground’," 19 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group wasn’t responsible. NBC News, "Gunmen kill 2 female judges in Afghan capital, court official says," 17 Jan. 2021 The insurgent social media app on Monday alleged that Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud provider worldwide, cut off the app to benefit Twitter, its main competitor. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "‘Very weak’: Parler lawsuit against Amazon unlikely to succeed," 11 Jan. 2021 The guards have long maintained they were targeted by insurgent gunfire at the traffic circle where the shooting occurred. Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, "After pardon, Blackwater guard defiant: ‘I acted correctly’," 3 Jan. 2021 The guards have long maintained they were targeted by insurgent gunfire at the traffic circle where the shooting occurred. Eric Tucker, ajc, "After pardon, Blackwater guard defiant: ‘I acted correctly’," 2 Jan. 2021 Immediately the convoy came under heavy insurgent gunfire and returned fire. WSJ, "Can Anyone Justify the Blackwater Pardons?," 4 Jan. 2021 She and Bowman, a former principal and teacher, were both backed by the leftist insurgent Justice Democrats PAC, an organization that's happy to add the two to the Squad. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Growing Squad could create headaches for Pelosi," 31 Dec. 2020 The United Nations has noted a dramatic surge in violence by the Taliban since peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent group began in Doha on Sept. 12. Eltaf Najafizada, Bloomberg.com, "Afghan President Orders Investigation Into Journalist’s Killing," 22 Dec. 2020 On the state level, Malliotakis points to six Democratic members of the New York State Assembly losing out to their insurgent primary challengers in Brooklyn and Queens, including some backed by the Democratic Socialists of America. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "NYC Rep.-elect Nicole Malliotakis says AOC's growing influence in New York politics must stop," 9 Dec. 2020

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

Noun

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1807, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insurgent

Noun

Latin insurgent-, insurgens, present participle of insurgere to rise up, from in- + surgere to rise — more at surge

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Time Traveler for insurgent

Time Traveler

The first known use of insurgent was in 1765

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Statistics for insurgent

Last Updated

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insurgent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurgent. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for insurgent

insurgent

noun
How to pronounce insurgent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insurgent

: a person who fights against an established government or authority

insurgent

noun
in·​sur·​gent | \ in-ˈsər-jənt How to pronounce insurgent (audio) \

Kids Definition of insurgent

: a person who revolts : rebel

insurgent

noun
in·​sur·​gent | \ in-ˈsər-jənt How to pronounce insurgent (audio) \

Legal Definition of insurgent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who rises in revolt against civil authority or an established government especially : one not recognized as a belligerent
2 : one that acts contrary to the established leadership (as of a political party, union, or corporation) or its decisions and policies

insurgent

adjective

Legal Definition of insurgent (Entry 2 of 2)

: rising in opposition to civil or political authority or against an established government

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Comments on insurgent

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