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 As a player in college Kidd is credited for starting the mutiny that got Lou Campanelli fired at Cal. John Canzano, oregonlive, 5 June 2021 Following the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789, the ship’s capitan William Bligh’s behavior was remarkable. Luc-christophe Guillerm, Scientific American, 16 Apr. 2021 While not under the same court mandate as Royal Dutch Shell, the company clearly must pay more concern to environmental matters than in the past or its board risks further replacement, if not shareholder mutiny. Daniel Markind, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Oklahoma State players responded to Mike Gundy’s public embrace of a far right-wing news outlet that denounced the Black Lives Matter movement with a near-mutiny that led Gundy to apologize and agree to school-friendly contract changes. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 25 May 2021 The most surprising element of the findings, for me, was the realization that mutiny was brewing in the ranks of Bitcoin’s core developers at the time Satoshi decided to disappear. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 6 May 2021 Rather, brands across industries are managing a more mundane kind of mutiny at every turn: the sort that happens when your employees’ social media is at odds with the company line. Paul Blanchard, Rolling Stone, 14 May 2021 John Garang de Mabior leads a mutiny of army soldiers, reigniting the civil war. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 3 May 2021 The outcry represents a muted but widespread mutiny among the American diplomatic corps, the first so far of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s tenure. Lara Jakes, New York Times, 24 Feb. 2021

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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Last Updated

6 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mutiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for mutiny



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on mutiny

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


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