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 His fall followed violent protests and a mutiny by the police, who failed to suppress them. The Economist, "The end of Evo Morales Was there a coup in Bolivia?," 14 Nov. 2019 What these methods inspired turned out to be a near mutiny. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New Yorker, "“The Raft” Chronicles an Extreme Experiment with Human Nature," 18 July 2019 Schiano had been all but officially hired by Tennessee after the 2017 regular season, but a fan mutiny led the university to back out of that deal. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rutgers fires coach Ash after 8 wins in 3-plus seasons," 29 Sep. 2019 After a mutiny at a prison last June in which 10 inmates were killed — and some decapitated — during a clash between rival gangs, Paraguay passed a new law giving the state additional powers to address the system’s shortcomings. Ernesto Londoño,, "75 drug cartel members tunnel out of Paraguay prison," 19 Jan. 2020 In the wake of his death, Yusupov was reinstated as chief executive, a move that prompted a mutiny by employees. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Remember HQ Trivia? It's trying to make a comeback," 12 Dec. 2019 Grogan, who found the document hasty and wrongheaded, launched a behind-the-scenes mutiny from Trump’s budget office, three former administration health officials told STAT. Lev Facher, STAT, "How Joe Grogan, a former pharma lobbyist, upended Trump’s drug pricing agenda," 22 Oct. 2019 Disgruntled American officials lamented a lost opportunity, saying the mutiny might have succeeded if U.S. forces in the Canal Zone had intervened. Washington Post, "A rotting cow tongue and ‘evil sorcery’: How the U.S. invasion of Panama led to a literal witch hunt," 23 Dec. 2019 Speculation swirls that Brunel hasn’t got a handle on his players, that the French might not be too far from mutiny. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brunel’s reign on last legs with Wales favored vs France," 18 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for mutiny

Time Traveler

The first known use of mutiny was in 1540

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Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mutiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 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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