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 But after the insurrection on Jan. 6, and amid a rise in threats from right-wing extremists and white supremacist groups, the Justice Department has signaled a new push toward battling domestic terrorism. Washington Post, "In Whitmer kidnapping plot, extremists also wanted to blow up a bridge, tried to buy explosives, feds say," 29 Apr. 2021 All members who avoid going through the metal detectors are fined $5,000 for their first offense and $10,000 for their second, a rule Clyburn supported that was instituted after the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Annie Grayer, CNN, "Jim Clyburn says he was fined for avoiding metal detectors off the House floor," 22 Apr. 2021 Yet, as the insurrection of Jan. 6 again shows, on a national scale, police, like the military, face the ongoing challenge of white supremacists in their ranks. Mark Curnutte, The Enquirer, "Opinion: We live in two nations, separate and unequal," 8 Apr. 2021 The attack came nearly three months after the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Lissandra Villa, Time, "A Capitol Police Officer Is Killed in Another Deadly Attack at U.S. Capitol," 2 Apr. 2021 The controversy led to an insurrection at the United States Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, the day of the Electoral College certification process. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Tom Cotton calls on corporate America to reject Democrats' Iowa power grab," 26 Mar. 2021 And, after the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, and the inauguration of President Biden, demand rose again., "Background checks and ‘blue cards’ show demand for guns still increasing in Rhode Island," 17 Mar. 2021 According to the indictment, before the insurrection on Jan. 6, members of the group attended paramilitary training by a Florida company that provides firearms and combat instruction. Tommy Beer, Forbes, "DOJ: 100 Or More Still Face Charges Over Capitol Attack," 12 Mar. 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

4 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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