mu·​ti·​ny | \ ˈmyü-tə-nē How to pronounce mutiny (audio) , ˈmyüt-nē\
plural mutinies

Definition of mutiny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : forcible or passive resistance to lawful authority especially : concerted (see concerted sense 1) revolt (as of a naval crew) against discipline or a superior officer The sailors staged a mutiny and took control of the ship.
2 obsolete : tumult, strife


mutinied; mutinying; mutinies

Definition of mutiny (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to rise against or refuse to obey or observe authority He mutinied not just against God but against the older generation of Romanian intellectuals.— Will Blythe specifically, of soldiers, sailors, etc. : to rebel against military authority : to stage a mutiny Months wore on, and about half of [Christopher] Columbus's men mutinied and tried to sail by canoe to Hispaniola. — Owen Gingerich In April 1779 a draft of sixty men from the 71st Highlanders mutinied when they were told they were to go to America and refused to march aboard the transports. — Christopher Hibbert

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Choose the Right Synonym for mutiny


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 mutiny in a Sentence

Noun The mutiny was led by the ship's cook. The sailors staged a mutiny and took control of the ship.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Dolphins are trying to lose, and had a locker-room mutiny after they were spanked, 59-10, by the Ravens in the opener last week., "MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Spygate. Deflategate. OrchidsofAsiaGate. Now Antoniogate.," 16 Sep. 2019 Each abandonment was the occasion of bitter fights, mutinies, and accusations of betrayal. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "The Radical Transformations of a Battered Women’s Shelter," 13 Aug. 2019 Pakistan and the status quo The logic of partition is often used to explain Pakistani state behaviour, but the Pakistan Army’s defining trauma was the events of 1971: mutinies, civil war, decisive Indian victory and the country’s division. Johann Chacko, Quartz India, "With Kashmir move, India risks losing the upper hand of a responsible, nuclear-armed democracy," 6 Aug. 2019 At a club like Juventus, where each position is filled with decorated winners and more than capable replacements, Sarri will need to learn to keep his entire squad happy, or face the consequences of a dressing-room mutiny., "Napoli: Gli Azzurri Could Finally End Juventus' Domestic Dominance Next Season," 30 July 2019 There's a mutiny that is surprising only because there's not much of a tipping point, if any at all, before it. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Another Life': TV Review," 22 July 2019 The Port Chicago disaster and the related mutiny trial of dozens of African American sailors were landmark World War II events that few know took place here in the Bay Area. Bill Van Niekerken,, "Port Chicago disaster: Unpublished photos of a World War II tragedy in Bay Area," 17 July 2019 Gallagher's attorney described the trial as a mutiny led by junior SEALs that did not like his clients demanding leadership style. Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, "Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher found not guilty of murdering ISIS fighter," 2 July 2019 They were court-martialed en masse and convicted of mutiny, originally sentenced to prison terms of eight to 15 years. Bill Van Niekerken,, "Port Chicago disaster: Unpublished photos of a World War II tragedy in Bay Area," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutiny.' 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 mutiny


1540, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mutiny


mutine to rebel, from Middle French (se) mutiner, from mutin mutinous, from meute revolt, from Vulgar Latin *movita, from feminine of movitus, alteration of Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move

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Statistics for mutiny

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for mutiny

The first known use of mutiny was in 1540

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More Definitions for mutiny


How to pronounce mutiny (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mutiny

: a situation in which a group of people (such as sailors or soldiers) refuse to obey orders and try to take control away from the person who commands them


mu·​ti·​ny | \ ˈmyü-tə-nē How to pronounce mutiny (audio) \
plural mutinies

Kids Definition of mutiny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a turning of a group (as of sailors) against a person in charge
2 : refusal to obey those in charge


mutinied; mutinying

Kids Definition of mutiny (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to take control away from a person in charge The sailors were preparing to mutiny.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mutiny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mutiny

Spanish Central: Translation of mutiny

Nglish: Translation of mutiny for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mutiny

Comments on mutiny

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a calculated move

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