in·sur·rec·tion | \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shən \

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, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
insurrectionary \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-shə-ˌner-ē \ adjective or noun
insurrectionist \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈrek-sh(ə-)nist \ 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

Modern tennis, despite the occasional rant at a line judge or Andre Agassi circa his long hair days aside, isn’t a sport known for an insurrection. Todd Martens,, "'Mario Tennis Aces' and the love of low-stakes competition," 12 July 2018 One of Mr Sharif’s allies accused the ISI of orchestrating the insurrection. The Economist, "Pakistan’s army is using every trick to sideline Nawaz Sharif," 21 June 2018 One way Grimes’ Boyfriend could kill the insurrection? Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Touch and Go," 11 May 2018 The insurrection started a couple years ago with sporadic protests outside our building near the state capitol, some of us speaking out in articles in local media. John Wenzel, The Atlantic, "The Gutting of The Denver Post is a Death Knell for Local News," 11 May 2018 House Speaker Paul Ryan was scrambling Thursday to settle a brewing insurrection among Republican lawmakers over immigration as moderates in coalition with Democrats look to force a debate on a series of immigration bills. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 7 June 2018 Festivals of freedom were held on the Citadel Green, where cadets were trained to guard against insurrection. Jason Silverstein, The New Republic, "The Persistence of Whitewashing," 31 May 2018 Among the reasons for the state to exit the United States were the following: [The United States] advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Confederate Memorial Day: when multiple states celebrate treason in defense of slavery," 23 Apr. 2018 Like Mahal, most of the Syrians taking part in Turkey’s operation originally took up arms against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army after anti-government protests spiraled into armed insurrection in 2011. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "Syrian rebels are using the Turkish offensive to take revenge against Kurds," 7 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for insurrection

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

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More Definitions for insurrection



English Language Learners Definition of insurrection

: a usually violent attempt to take control of a government


in·sur·rec·tion | \ˌin-sə-ˈrek-shən \

Kids Definition of insurrection

: an act or instance of rebelling against a government


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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