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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun A dozen Democrats have lined up to take on the two-term incumbent, who has evolved from a tea party insurgent during his first run in 2010 to a promoter of Covid-19 and January 6 conspiracies. Terence Burlij, CNN, 26 Feb. 2022 On Saturday, fighting between insurgent and government forces around Herat city, a traditionally safe area in the country’s west, edged dangerously close to its periphery. New York Times, 31 July 2021 Somehow, over time , there has been a failure to distinguish between a sewing machine operator earning a living, and an insurgent fighting a battle (all within the same country). Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 At one point in the battle, an insurgent detonated his suicide vest, mortally wounding a fellow U.S. soldier. The Associated. Press, Arkansas Online, 12 Dec. 2021 At one point in the battle, an insurgent detonated his suicide vest, mortally wounding a fellow U.S. soldier. Aamer Madhani, ajc, 11 Dec. 2021 At one point in the battle, an insurgent detonated his suicide vest, mortally wounding a fellow U.S. soldier. al, 11 Dec. 2021 After an insurgent’s suicide vest went off and mortally wounded a U.S. soldier, Plumlee ran to the soldier, carried him to safety and gave the service member first aid. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, 16 Dec. 2021 BlackRock supported a third insurgent who was also elected. Andy Puzder, WSJ, 15 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Candidate Kenneth Mejia’s insurgent campaign has brought fresh attention to the city controller’s race and galvanized many of the city’s younger, progressive voters. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2022 In the new 7th District on the West and South Sides, insurgent challenger Kina Collins outraised 24-year veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Danny Davis in the quarter — $127,570 to $66,840. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, 18 Apr. 2022 The insurgent campaigns offer a test of the Republican electorate’s appetite for candidates not as far to the right as Mr. Gosar. New York Times, 11 Apr. 2022 At the time, government troops kept his neighborhood cordoned off, hitting it with artillery and sometimes airstrikes, as insurgent groups fought for control. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2022 The country’s feeble public health system was crippled by the pandemic, and parts of the Venezuelan countryside are ruled by drug traffickers and insurgent groups. Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2021 Imagine a world in which militaries, insurgent groups and international and domestic terrorists can deploy theoretically unlimited lethal force at theoretically zero risk at times and places of their choosing, with no resulting legal accountability. James Dawes, The Conversation, 29 Sep. 2021 The wars also unleashed unrest across the Middle East as the U.S. military fought the Taliban and the Saddam Hussein regime, and then later a number of insurgent groups. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 1 July 2021 But the sentiment Caruso is trying to convey — that the city is in dire straits, with a populace plagued by fear — is central to his insurgent campaign for mayor. Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About insurgent

Time Traveler for insurgent

Time Traveler

The first known use of insurgent was in 1765

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Dictionary Entries Near insurgent

insurgency

insurgent

in surgery

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Statistics for insurgent

Last Updated

7 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insurgent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurgent. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insurgent

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

More from Merriam-Webster on insurgent

Nglish: Translation of insurgent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insurgent for Arabic Speakers

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