in·​sur·​rec·​tion ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio)
: an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government
insurrectional adjective
insurrectionary adjective or noun
insurrectionist noun
Choose the Right Synonym for insurrection

rebellion, revolution, uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny mean an outbreak against authority.

rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful.

open rebellion against the officers

revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government).

a political revolution that toppled the monarchy

uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion.

quickly put down the uprising

revolt and insurrection imply an armed uprising that quickly fails or succeeds.

a revolt by the Young Turks that surprised party leaders
an insurrection of oppressed laborers

mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority.

a mutiny led by the ship's cook

Example Sentences

the famous insurrection of the slaves in ancient Rome under Spartacus
Recent Examples on the Web But most of the questions for Manger were about the Capitol Police response to the insurrection on Jan. 6, before Manger took over. Camila Dechalus, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Chaplain support Among the new State Board of Education members is Julie Pickren, a former trustee from the Houston area who was in Washington during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Talia Richman, Dallas News, 12 May 2023 The ban was instituted in the days following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, where supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building and attempted to prevent the certification of electoral votes. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 3 May 2023 Another Wisconsin man has been arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the nation's Capitol. Drew Dawson, Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2023 His approval in polls has generally stayed at near 40%, dipping about 5 points after the Jan. 6 insurrection set off by his attempts to overturn the presidential election. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2023 The latest piece of bad news came Tuesday, as a judge ruled that Pence would have to provide information to a grand jury investigating the events leading to the Jan. 6 insurrection. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2023 Biggs responded by verifying the accuracy of Carlson's portrayal of the insurrection. Tara Kavaler, The Arizona Republic, 28 Mar. 2023 On the eve of the insurrection, the pair rented a car and drove to Washington. Danny Mcdonald,, 23 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insurrection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English insureccion, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin insurrection-, insurrectio, from insurgere

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insurrection was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near insurrection

Cite this Entry

“Insurrection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​sur·​rec·​tion ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio)
insurrectionary adjective or noun
insurrectionist noun

Legal Definition


in·​sur·​rec·​tion ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio)
: the act or an instance of revolting especially violently against civil or political authority or against an established government
also : the crime of inciting or engaging in such revolt
whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years U.S. Code

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