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 reactionary (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 As an unhealthy number of reactionary conservatives noted, that would amount to roughly four pounds of meat per person each year. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "There Is No War on Meat. There Should Be.," 26 Apr. 2021 In this suspicion, my fear of truly contending with the abusers who shaped my life was allowed to morph into a reactionary sort of nihilism. Tavi Gevinson, Vulture, "Art Doesn’t Need Tyrants," 23 Apr. 2021 Ever since the dawn of Jack White, artists who hunger to reassert the power of rock in a rockless age have tended to sound like reactionary young coots. Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone, "Greta Van Fleet Erect a Cathedral of Neo-Zeppelin Overkill on ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’," 16 Apr. 2021 Thus, Sam finally decides to become the next Captain America and starts training his butt off, a great and decisive moment for a character that's been fairly reactionary up until this point. Chancellor Agard,, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier recap: I am Captain America," 16 Apr. 2021 The Republican Party had a path to power through an increasingly reactionary, shrinking White minority. Edward J. Markey And Mondaire Jones, CNN, "Legislators: Add four justices to the Supreme Court," 15 Apr. 2021 In fact, his innovations have often been reactionary in nature. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "Giorgio Armani on Fashion's Future—And Why He's Not Slowing Down," 31 Mar. 2021 According to her, there is always a lag before the mainstream culture catches up with any formal progressive measure, and this lag is often regressive and reactionary. Eva Rothenberg, CNN, "For Black Georgians, voting restrictions are more of the same. These slave narratives prove it," 28 Mar. 2021 Activists go out and activate based on reactionary things. Harper's BAZAAR, "Virgil Abloh and Trinice McNally Join Forces for I Support Black Women Campaign," 26 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for reactionary

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The first known use of reactionary was in 1815

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Statistics for reactionary

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reactionary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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