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

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 Perhaps the greatest challenge about opioids today is to resist the urge to be simplistic or reactionary. Travis Rieder, WSJ, "The Perilous Blessing of Opioids," 14 June 2019 Everything done about this situation so far has been reactionary instead of preventative, Jenkins said. Lydia Gerike,, "Three more overdose deaths in Hartford bring week’s total to 10 as count runs far ahead of last year’s," 10 June 2019 The nineteenth century, with its medicine and machines and positive thinking, always had a shadow disdaining it: the reactionary dandy. Adam Thirlwell, The New York Review of Books, "Lunches in the Maelstrom," 17 June 2019 Theft incidents are typically a reactionary police function., "Serious crime decreases by 32 percent in University Heights," 14 June 2019 Takes Responding to last week’s study of white supremacists on YouTube, Ezra Klein says the video site is the key to understanding the future of the reactionary movement that is now ascendant in the United States. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The case that Russia is winning the cyberwar," 25 Sep. 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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Statistics for reactionary

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for reactionary

The first known use of reactionary was in 1815

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