noun in·sur·rec·tion \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən \
|Updated on: 10 Aug 2018

Definition of insurrection

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


play \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective


play \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective or noun


play \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-sh(ə-)nist\ noun

Examples of insurrection in a Sentence

  1. the famous insurrection of the slaves in ancient Rome under Spartacus

Recent Examples of insurrection from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of insurrection

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

INSURRECTION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of insurrection for English Language Learners

  • : a usually violent attempt to take control of a government

INSURRECTION Defined for Kids


noun in·sur·rec·tion \ ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən \

Definition of insurrection for Students

: an act or instance of rebelling against a government

Law Dictionary


noun in·sur·rec·tion \ ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən \

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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having an air of easy unconcern

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