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 insurrection (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
insurrectionary \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce insurrection (audio) \ adjective or noun
insurrectionist \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce insurrection (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 Late-night hosts dropped the jokes Wednesday night and struck a sobering tone in response to the armed insurrection that occurred at the US Capitol earlier in the day when Trump supporters stormed the building, leading to the deaths of four people. Globe Staff,, "‘Treason finale’: Late-night hosts react to Capitol breach," 7 Jan. 2021 That includes George Washington, who issued the first U.S. pardons, to farmers who led an insurrection called the Whiskey Rebellion. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Trump’s pardons: How they’re granted and how they compare to other Presidents’ so far," 23 Dec. 2020 The French were hoping to combine forces with an Irish insurrection and liberate the island in the name of liberté, fraternité, and égalité. The New Yorker, "The Best Books We Read in 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 But now that the governor has shut down in-person dining and severely limited businesses as cases hit record-breaking highs, some sheriffs are advocating insurrection. Gustavo Arellano Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: What in tarnation is going on with Southern California sheriffs and coronavirus?," 9 Dec. 2020 The war in the former Serbian province killed more than 10,000 people – mostly ethnic Albanians – and ended after a NATO bombing campaign forced Serbia to withdraw its forces that were fighting an ethnic Albanian insurrection. Llazar Semini, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Kosovo, Albanian man finds meaning caring for Serb neighbor," 2 Dec. 2020 The Indian independence movement, the popular archetype of nonviolent insurrection, was classified as a partial success—for one thing, the British did eventually quit India, but not within a year. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How to Stop a Power Grab," 16 Nov. 2020 Nat Turner, whose 1831 insurrection ended in his execution, was one of the rare exceptions. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "158 Resources to Understand Racism in America," 4 June 2020

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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insurrection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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