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 threat of an invasion that would spark slave mutiny was never far away; nor was the inflammatory news of risings in neighboring colonies. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, "Speech and Slavery in the West Indies," 3 Aug. 2020 Armed with Becca's knowledge, the mind drive, and Becca's case of Nightblood serum, Callie leads a mutiny against her father. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The 100 showrunner reveals plans for where potential prequel series would go next," 9 July 2020 In 1788, before his crew’s infamous mutiny, William Bligh of the HMS Bounty failed for a month to negotiate this turn. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "The tree at the bottom of the world—and the wind-blasted trek to find it," 7 July 2020 His big-picture wisdom and instincts told him that a mutiny would prove far more harmful to the Latino players than to Dark (who would soon be fired). Scott Ostler,, "Why Giants legend Willie Mays is the kind of leader we could use right now," 17 June 2020 For instance, in 1964, the Giants’ Latino players were planning a mutiny, a sit-down protest of manager Alvin Dark’s blatantly racist public comments and actions. Scott Ostler,, "Why Giants legend Willie Mays is the kind of leader we could use right now," 17 June 2020 During the war, anger among black and other minority soldiers about racial injustice at home prompted widespread unrest, desertion and even hints of mutiny aboard American warships. The Economist, "No longer his generals America’s top brass break with Donald Trump," 7 June 2020 Like so many others he was thwarted, turned back by freezing seas, his crew close to mutiny. Harry Pearson, Condé Nast Traveler, "To Best Experience Alaska’s Burgeoning Local Food Movement, Go in Winter," 20 Dec. 2019 Although the risk of new armed conflict is low, a series of mutinies by former rebel soldiers in 2017 and pockets of violence during the 2018 local polls highlight a residual potential for instability. David Bruckmeier, Quartz Africa, "Côte d’Ivoire’s president rules out a third term, but it’s no guarantee elections won’t get messy," 13 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mutiny

Time Traveler

The first known use of mutiny was in 1540

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Statistics for mutiny

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mutiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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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

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