in·​ti·​fa·​da ˌin-tə-ˈfä-də How to pronounce intifada (audio)
plural intifadas
: uprising, rebellion
specifically : an armed uprising of Palestinians against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
I was a college student at Tufts University in December 1987, when the first Palestinian intifada began. Hady Amr
… in 2000, the second intifada struck with the force of an earthquake. As Palestinians fought Israeli troops, the West Bank became all but ungovernable. Karen E. Lange

Examples of intifada in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That was well into the Palestinian uprising that began in 1987, known as the first intifada. Gabriel San Román, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 West Bank militancy surges as Israel steps up raids and arrests Jenin’s reputation as a bastion of Palestinian militancy was sealed in 2002, at the height of the second intifada, when the camp was the scene of one of the conflict’s bloodiest battles. Susannah George, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2023 The airstrikes were the most intense since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, from 2000 to 2005, which brought suicide bombings in Israeli cities and an Israeli re-invasion of Palestinian cities. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 3 July 2023 Without Palestinian cooperation in counterterrorism, some military officials said, the West Bank could face a third intifada, or uprising, after the deadly Palestinian uprisings of 1987 and 2000. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Effectively breaking the second intifada, this larger operation became a turning point that, along with continuing counterterrorism efforts, reduced the number of terror attacks and victims. Assaf Orion, Foreign Affairs, 3 Nov. 2023 In 2008, six years after Israel demolished vast swaths of the city during the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, Jenin was seen as a model of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation, in matters of both security and economic investment that would bring peace through prosperity. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Hamas’s big breakthrough was the paroxysm of violence during the second intifada after the diplomatic crisis caused by the failure of the Camp David summit in the summer of 2000. Hussein Ibish, The New Republic, 1 Nov. 2023 First Palestinian 'intifada,' or uprising, occurs The first yearslong uprising from Palestinian forces in their struggle for self determination began in 1987. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intifada.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Arabic intifāḍa, literally, the act of shaking off

First Known Use

1985, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intifada was in 1985

Dictionary Entries Near intifada

Cite this Entry

“Intifada.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​ti·​fa·​da ˌint-ə-ˈfäd-ə How to pronounce intifada (audio)

Arabic intifāda, literally, "the act of shaking off"

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