re·ac·tion·ary | \ rē-ˈak-shə-ˌner-ē \

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 \ 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

Once the floodgate opens, people can't stop—reactionary, frightening, embarrassing…—but Mr. Jimmy eventually brings it to a shush. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 June 2018 Jung, Campbell, and Eliade believed that mythology contained the core truths of human culture, and shared an affinity for reactionary politics. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Jordan Peterson’s Tired Old Myths," 21 May 2018 The reactionary sentiment of the past decade seems less like an uptick than a storm surge. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Donald Trump, Meghan Markle, and America’s enduring obsession with the British royals," 12 July 2018 By his 2012 election campaign, he was fully reclothed in reactionary liberalism—a defender of existing government handouts and the organized interests behind them. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Court Shows the System Works," 6 July 2018 In fact, the widespread, outspoken reactionary antipathy of Hollywood bigs, establishment elites and those who still can’t accept the 2016 results actually helps Trump. Andrew Malcolm,, "Is Donald Trump chief executive or executive producer?," 28 June 2018 These recalls and warnings are both reactionary and preventive. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Here's what you need to know about the current salmonella and cyclospora outbreaks," 17 June 2018 Imagine the nightmare that presents for a defense, which must go into full reactionary mode against this. Andy Benoit,, "How the Julio Jones Holdout Must Play Out," 13 June 2018 Sharanya Chatterjee, 11, the Central Florida spelling champion, spelled bellicist and reactionary correctly in her two oral rounds. Leslie Postal,, "National spelling bee: Central Florida top spellers fail to make final cut," 31 May 2018

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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Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for reactionary

The first known use of reactionary was in 1815

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