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

Examples of insurrection in a Sentence

the famous insurrection of the slaves in ancient Rome under Spartacus
Recent Examples on the Web Biden referenced the victims of Crooks' assault and mentioned other prominent instances of political violence in the U.S. in recent years, such as the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington and the brutal attack on the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Dan Morrison, USA TODAY, 15 July 2024 The ads, which had included spots attacking Trump over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, were aimed at cutting into the former president’s polling advantage by shifting the focus from Biden to his opponent. Tyler Pager, Washington Post, 14 July 2024 But then again, none of the events leading up to and including the Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump’s various attempts to override the election had much precedent. New York Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News, 13 July 2024 The company first took action against Trump’s social media accounts in 2021, shortly after the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington D.C. Jonathan Vanian, CNBC, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for insurrection 

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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