rebel

adjective
reb·​el | \ ˈre-bəl How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

Definition of rebel

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : opposing or taking arms against a government or ruler
b : of or relating to rebels the rebel camp

rebel

noun

Definition of rebel (Entry 2 of 3)

: one who rebels or participates in a rebellion

rebel

verb
re·​bel | \ ri-ˈbel How to pronounce rebel (audio) \
rebelled; rebelling

Definition of rebel (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to oppose or disobey one in authority or control
b : to renounce and resist by force the authority of one's government
2a : to act in or show opposition or disobedience rebelled against the conventions of polite society
b : to feel or exhibit anger or revulsion rebelled at the injustice of life

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Examples of rebel in a Sentence

Adjective

today's rebel chefs feel free to ignore the dictates of classic French cuisine

Noun

The government captured six armed rebels. He was a rebel against the school administration. He is a typical teenage rebel.

Verb

When the government imposed more taxes, the people rebelled. The protesters are rebelling against the new tax law. Children often rebel against their parents.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On the rebel side, bodies of Houthi fighters were strewn across the front lines. Washington Post, "Fierce fighting intensifies outside Yemen’s Hodeida airport," 15 June 2018 On the rebel side, bodies of Houthi fighters were strewn across the front lines. Ahmed Al-haj, chicagotribune.com, "Fighting intensifies outside Yemen's Hodeida airport as death toll reaches 280," 15 June 2018 The White House intended the strike to deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons after a suspected attack using sarin and chlorine gas killed dozens of people last week in the rebel stronghold of Douma, east of Damascus. Phil Mccausland /, NBC News, "Putin warns of global 'crisis' after U.S.-led strike on Syria," 15 Apr. 2018 Al-Houthi stressed the rebels’ commitment to implement agreements struck in Sweden last month, according to a rebel statement. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "UN envoy arrives in Yemen after deadly weekend attack," 28 Jan. 2019 Trillanes who remained holed up in his office for three weeks now after President Rodrigo Duterte voided an amnesty given to the former rebel military officer, willingly went with police to post bail. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Philippine president's fiercest critic arrested, posts bail," 25 Sep. 2018 The rebel Tories and Labour lawmakers appear to be sending signals to each other. Kitty Donaldson, Bloomberg.com, "Tory Brexit Rebels, Labour Edge Toward Common Front Against May," 6 June 2018 And there is no riskier asset than a rebel currency. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Once a Rebel, Bitcoin Is Conforming to Mainstream Markets," 28 Dec. 2018 Unlike such millionaire checkpoints, more modest operations have allowed some rebel outfits to pay salaries, buy food and purchase weapons. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "‘They’re All Thieves’: Navigating Syria’s Checkpoint Shakedowns," 23 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

French help included sending naval and ground forces to bolster the colonial rebels, and also material support—including warships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Shipwreck of One of America’s First Warships Was Just Found," 12 Dec. 2018 Iván Duque, a business-friendly pragmatist who pledged to impose harsher terms on the former rebels, defeated Gustavo Petro, who supported the peace agreement. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 On Friday the first cease-fire deals were struck between Syria and rebels in the Daraa region, reportedly prompting some civilians to return home. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, "Syrian civil war, on Israel's doorstep, brings swirl of changing attitudes," 11 July 2018 For two weeks, a Syrian military juggernaut has borne down on rebels bunkered in the country’s south, leaving them with a grim choice: capitulate or face annihilation. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "As a government offensive bears down on them, Syrian rebels expect no help from onetime ally U.S.," 5 July 2018 Alongside the number of Tory rebels, the chances of the amendment being passed in the House of Commons will also depend on how solid support is from the opposition Labour Party. Thomas Penny, Bloomberg.com, "May Loses in House of Lords on Brexit Vote, Setting Up Commons Battle," 19 June 2018 The United States, Britain and France have all participated in the Syrian conflict for years, arming rebels, bombing Islamic State fighters and deploying troops to fight the militants. Anchorage Daily News, "Putin predicts global ‘chaos’ if West hits Syria again," 15 Apr. 2018 Police and rebels cooperated to let emergency vehicles through. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Climate Change Protests Disrupt London Fashion Week," 18 Feb. 2019 Ahmad Asiri, an adviser to Saudi Arabia's defence minister, defended his country’s decision to lead an international coalition in the war against Yemen's Houthi rebels. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Drug symposium brings nationally recognized experts to Fort Bend," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Businessmen and others rebelled, very nearly impeaching the mayor and forcing him to launch a crackdown on suspected women prostitutes. Scott Stern, Teen Vogue, "How Capitalism Helped to Fuel the Mass Incarceration of Women," 25 June 2018 Congress rebelled, declining to endorse his suggested 30 percent cuts in the State Department’s budget. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "Rex Tillerson out as Trump’s secretary of state, replaced by Mike Pompeo," 13 Mar. 2018 Casely-Hayford was a scion of the African aristocracy—one who rebelled against it. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Joe Casely-Hayford, the British Fashion Designer, Dies at 62," 3 Jan. 2019 It was founded in 1882 by a group of musicians rebelling against their conductor. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "Over 16 Years, Simon Rattle Transformed the Berlin Philharmonic. Here’s How.," 25 June 2018 That era was characterized by turmoil, both abroad and here in the United States, where tribes rebelled against one another in nearly every public arena, from draft offices to college campuses to lunch counters. Laila Lalami, New York Times, "Does American ‘Tribalism’ End in a Compromise, or a Fight?," 26 June 2018 In recent years, as the result of a successful government military campaign, the rebellion has been reduced to rebel Sudan Liberation Army forces loyal to Elnur in western and southern Jebel Marra. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN-AU envoy urges UN to consider action against Sudan rebel," 22 Oct. 2018 From the all-too-brief description, Alphabet Squadron sounds similar: rebel pilots going after the Empire. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The next big Star Wars book will follow a squadron of rebel pilots hunting down the Empire," 5 Oct. 2018 Iran is continuing to work to help rebel groups to form in the minority tribal region. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Iran, in shadow proxy war with Saudis, expands its Pakistan influence," 12 Sep. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rebel

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin rebellis, from re- + bellum war, from Old Latin duellum

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Dictionary Entries near rebel

rebec

rebegin

Rebekah

rebel

rebeldom

rebeller

rebellion

Statistics for rebel

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rebel

The first known use of rebel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for rebel

rebel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rebel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who opposes or fights against a government
: a person who opposes a person or group in authority : a person who does not obey rules or accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.

rebel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rebel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to oppose or fight against a government
: to oppose a person or group in authority : to refuse to obey rules or accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.

rebel

noun
reb·​el | \ ˈre-bəl How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

Kids Definition of rebel

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person who opposes or fights against a government
2 : a person who does not obey authority or follow usual standards

rebel

verb
re·​bel | \ ri-ˈbel How to pronounce rebel (audio) \
rebelled; rebelling

Kids Definition of rebel (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to be or fight against authority and especially the authority of a person's government
2 : to feel or show anger, strong dislike, or disapproval “She wanted to make it a whole purple suit, but I rebelled.”— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

rebel

adjective
reb·​el | \ ˈre-bəl How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

Kids Definition of rebel (Entry 3 of 3)

: opposing or fighting against a government or ruler

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More from Merriam-Webster on rebel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rebel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rebel

Spanish Central: Translation of rebel

Nglish: Translation of rebel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rebel for Arabic Speakers

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