re·​ac·​tion·​ary | \ rē-ˈak-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce reactionary (audio) \

Definition of reactionary

: relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction especially : ultraconservative in politics

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Other Words from reactionary

reactionary noun
reactionaryism \ rē-​ˈak-​shə-​ˌner-​ē-​ˌi-​zəm How to pronounce reactionaryism (audio) \ noun

Examples of reactionary in a Sentence

reactionary guardians of proper English usage invariably regard every new coinage that comes along as a nonword

Recent Examples on the Web

If Three Sparks and the Donut Defense keep this up, Van Oekel is going to have trouble getting off the ground to make all those split-second, reactionary saves. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Birmingham Legion FC’s ‘Donut Defense’ is winning hearts and crushing calories," 17 Aug. 2019 In direct comparison, Zemeckis’ film seemed more old-fashioned — bordering on reactionary. Noel Murray,, "Revisiting ‘Forrest Gump’ at 25 — what made it a cultural phenomenon," 2 July 2019 Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey, prominently—become reactionary Church and King conservatives after their youthful enthusiasm during the French Revolution. Eric Powell, The New York Review of Books, "Shelley’s Anti-Boney Fides," 6 June 2019 An affable Wall Street type hanging out with the homeless youths goes off on the degree to which race was a factor in the election of then-President Barack Obama, though his reactionary rhetoric isn't presented as infallible evidence of inhumanity. Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pier Kids': Film Review | Outfest 2019," 22 July 2019 With nearly 10 reactionary phone calls responding to each bit of power shuffling now behind them, the final schedule is still expected in early to mid-August. Jacob Feldman,, "NBA Schedule Makers Must Sort Out A Shuffled League for the 2019–20 Season," 22 July 2019 The week-to-week reactionary nature of the NFL will lend itself to some heavy teeth-gnashing if the Browns are, say, 3-4 heading to Denver. Dan Labbe,, "What does the Browns record need to be in the season’s first half? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 2 July 2019 The second episode jumps forward to 2001, when the events of 9/11 seemed to further exacerbate Ailes’s most reactionary and bigoted tendencies. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Loudest Voice Stops Short of Revealing Roger Ailes," 27 June 2019 Removing them represents censorship as well as reactionary moment in time. Jill Tucker,, "San Francisco school board votes to destroy controversial Washington High mural," 25 June 2019

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

1815, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for reactionary

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for reactionary

The first known use of reactionary was in 1815

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Comments on reactionary

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recurring in steady succession

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