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 There were also calls for President Donald Trump to be prosecuted for the fiery speech that preceded the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Eric P. Robinson, The Conversation, "Free speech wasn’t so free 103 years ago, when ‘seditious’ and ‘unpatriotic’ speech was criminalized in the US," 13 May 2021 None of Utah’s House members supported the second impeachment of Trump for his role in inspiring the insurrection attempt. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Most, but not all, Utah lawmakers are happy to see Liz Cheney lose her GOP leadership post," 12 May 2021 Kinzinger and others believe Trump, from his outpost in Florida, is exacting revenge against the 10 House Republicans who joined Democrats to impeach him for egging on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Illinois’ US Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Mary Miller split on Liz Cheney’s ouster from GOP leadership | City ethics board dings Ald. David Moore over Facebook page | State’s new tourism campaign ‘Time For Me to Drive’ riffs on REO Speedwagon," 12 May 2021 Cruz and Klobuchar also clashed later in the hearing, showing the lingering tensions from both the 2016 and 2020 elections, as well as the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Hunter Woodall, Star Tribune, "Senate Democrats ready voting rights bill after partisan wrangling," 11 May 2021 In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Monday, Stefanik stood by her vote in the House to block the certification of Biden's electors in Pennsylvania after the Capitol insurrection. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump drags House GOP deeper into his theater of lies," 11 May 2021 The House Republican leader also batted away the nutty assertion that leftists in the guise of Trump supporters were to blame for the insurrection. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The agony and ecstasy of Kevin McCarthy," 11 May 2021 And without that call to refuse certification, there would not have been a Capitol insurrection attempt that got all those people arrested., "All Republican headlines around the country have the same origin: Trump’s Big Lie," 10 May 2021 Trump’s impeachment over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, accused GOP leadership of hypocrisy in its handling of Cheney. Jemima Mcevoy, Forbes, "Few Republicans Come To Liz Cheney’s Defense Ahead Of Power-Stripping Vote," 9 May 2021

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 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insurrection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 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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