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 insurrectional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
insurrectionary \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce insurrectionary (audio) \ adjective or noun
insurrectionist \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˈrek-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce insurrectionist (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 Non-white bosses are just as rare in the boardrooms of America’s largest companies, which are experiencing rumbles but fewer signs of insurrection than media firms. The Economist, "The media and prejudice Why race will continue to vex American newsrooms," 22 June 2020 The mood in Minneapolis had shifted from one of fervid insurrection to fatigue—a kind of dazed astonishment at all that had happened, and tentative uncertainty about what to do now. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "The Heart of the Uprising in Minneapolis," 15 June 2020 The accumulation of such abuses touched off the week-long insurrection in July 1967., "DPD's troubled relationship with Black Detroiters spans decades," 14 June 2020 General Washington, the president who led the army into the field to suppress rebellion and insurrection in Pennsylvania in the very first term of his administration. CBS News, "Transcript: Attorney General William Barr on "Face the Nation," June 7, 2020," 7 June 2020 The Insurrection Act is an 1807 law that allows the president to dispatch the military or federalize the National Guard in states that are unable to put down an insurrection or are defying federal law. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "'Unacceptable': Democrats slam Pentagon officials for refusing to testify about George Floyd protests," 7 June 2020 One of the wonders of witnessing a political revolution led by people who are firmly rooted in online culture is watching new forms of insurrection develop and be deployed almost instantaneously. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "K-Pop Fans Defuse Racist Hashtags," 5 June 2020 While much of the mainstream media narrative has focused on the disruption that occurs in tense moments of insurrection, most outlets have also failed to account for the fact that, from the start, police instigated that unrest. Erin Corbett,, "“Kettling” Is One Of The Most Violent Tactics Police Use Against Protesters," 5 June 2020 But Communist parties in places like Brazil and Indonesia for the most part opposed armed insurrection in the early 1960s. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Where America Developed a Taste for State Violence," 5 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insurrection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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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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