in·​sur·​rec·​tion | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio) \

Definition of insurrection

: an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government

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Other Words from insurrection

insurrectional \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​shnəl How to pronounce insurrectional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
insurrectionary \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce insurrectionary (audio) \ adjective or noun
insurrectionist \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce insurrectionist (audio) \ 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 This year’s preshow was free of insurrection, other than Billy Porter’s merciless domination of the red carpet, this time in white satin and feathers. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The 2020 Golden Globes Recap: Michelle Williams for President," 6 Jan. 2020 Keitel plays SS-Oberscharfuehrer Eric Muhsfeldt in this dark film about an insurrection among some of the Sonderkommandos (Jewish prisoners charged with disposing of bodies) at the crematoria in Auschwitz. Lior Zaltzman,, "There’s a long history of Jews playing Nazis on screen," 24 Oct. 2019 Tellingly, Texans celebrate 1836 as their founding year, when the state became independent from Mexico after an armed insurrection, not 1845, when Texas officially became an American state. The Economist, "California and Texas have different visions for America’s future," 22 June 2019 Likud has seen a burgeoning insurrection by lawmaker Gideon Saar, who says the party needs a new leader because Netanyahu has been unable to form a government. Washington Post, "Israelis contend with reality of third straight election," 12 Dec. 2019 The Naga insurrection began in the mid-1950s with rebel leaders seeking an independent homeland. Washington Post, "India, Naga rebels hold peace talks, but no agreement signed," 31 Oct. 2019 In 1972, the U.S. helped arm an Iraqi Kurdish insurrection against Baghdad. Bassem Mroue,, "Who are the Kurds, and what’s their history with the United States?," 8 Oct. 2019 Russia continues to back separatists in the Ukrainian provinces along the Ukrainian-Russian border, but the insurrections there have not forced big concessions from Kiev or prevented a deepening of Ukraine’s political and economic ties with Europe. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Sweeping Political Change in Ukraine Heralds Hope for the Future," 25 July 2019 But once Baghdad and Tehran mended fences in 1975, the United States turned its back on the insurrection, many of whose combatants were slaughtered or driven into exile. Ishaan Tharoor, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Trump sells out the Kurds in his own unique way," 8 Oct. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insurrection

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

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Time Traveler for insurrection

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for insurrection

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insurrection.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for insurrection


How to pronounce insurrection (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insurrection

: a usually violent attempt to take control of a government


in·​sur·​rec·​tion | \ ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio) \

Kids Definition of insurrection

: an act or instance of rebelling against a government


in·​sur·​rec·​tion | \ ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce insurrection (audio) \

Legal Definition of insurrection

: 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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dull or mediocre

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