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 Policy wonks and Washington pundits like to describe the Democratic primary as an ideological tug-of-war: moderates versus progressives, centrists versus an insurgent Left, pragmatic policy tweaks versus sweeping proposals. Time, "The Real 2020 Battle Lines: 'Hope' Versus 'Change'," 4 Dec. 2019 The strike comes amid an increase in violence in Idlib — Syria’s last opposition stronghold where fighting between government troops and insurgents killed dozens on both sides over the weekend. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World, Dec. 2," 2 Dec. 2019 The company has lashed itself to its image as an insurgent. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla’s Cybertruck is ridiculous, but who wants to bet against Elon Musk?," 23 Nov. 2019 While the group’s physical zone of control was largely destroyed by U.S. and Syrian Kurdish forces, insurgents remain in small pockets throughout the country and in Iraq. Robert Burns, The Denver Post, "U.S. troops, armored vehicles going to Syria oil fields, Esper says," 25 Oct. 2019 Here are this weekend’s picks and predictions: Florida at South Carolina: Florida 24-20 The Gators will start their road to recovery with a gritty road win over insurgent South Carolina. Los Angeles Times, "College football Week 8 picks: USC will fend off Arizona," 17 Oct. 2019 After his discussion with Trump, Farage announced that his insurgent Brexit Party would not field candidates against sitting Conservative lawmakers — a move which took some (though not all) of the pressure off Johnson. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Why President Trump Is Playing a Surprising Role in Britain's Upcoming Election," 14 Nov. 2019 The series will introduce a plot line involving a new black insurgent movement which emerges to battle the forces of Nazism and imperialism. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "‘The Man in the High Castle’ Team on What to Expect in the Final Season," 14 Nov. 2019 Operational expertise The military is well known for its standard operating procedures, or SOPs, which cover everything from basic firearm maintenance to counter-insurgent tactics. Socrates Rosenfeld, Quartz, "Military veterans are the future of weed entrepreneurship," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The story of an insurgent Indian woman certainly seems timely in 2019. Detroit Free Press, "More movies: 'Klaus,' 'Earthquake Bird,' 'Warrior Queen of Jahnsi'," 14 Nov. 2019 The story of an insurgent Indian woman certainly seems timely in 2019. Mark Jenkins, Houston Chronicle, "‘Warrior Queen of Jhansi’ is pretty but dull," 13 Nov. 2019 Iraq declared victory against IS two years ago, but the group continues to stage insurgent-type attacks across the country, particularly in northern Iraq. Washington Post, "5 Italian soldiers wounded by roadside explosion in Iraq," 10 Nov. 2019 Many pundits assumed the heart attack was a death knell for a campaign dependent on the candidate’s insurgent energy, and early polling bore that out. BostonGlobe.com, "“Getting a little tired, but you would too,” Sanders practically yelled, lifting his arms for a shrug as the voters in front of him laughed and cheered. “I’m feeling good.”," 8 Nov. 2019 In a forthcoming book Jenna Jordan of the Georgia Institute of Technology examines over 1,000 cases involving the killing or capture of leaders of terrorist or insurgent groups. The Economist, "Islamic State after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," 2 Nov. 2019 Russian and Chinese forces will often operate near or at the same level technologically as the Navy and Marines, a major change from lightly armed insurgent adversaries encountered during the post-9/11 period. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marines Are Changing the Way They Do Business," 10 Oct. 2019 Trump is hoping to replicate the dynamics that allowed him to capture the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump rehashes gripes, rips ‘radical’ Dems in 2020 launch," 19 June 2019 Trump is hoping to replicate the dynamics that allowed him to capture the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016 as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. Michael Schneider, Twin Cities, "Trump rehashes gripes, rips ‘radical’ Dems in 2020 launch," 18 June 2019

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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Insurgent.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurgent. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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