rebel

adjective
reb·el | \ˈre-bəl \

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 \
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

Their advance has been delayed by mines and resistance from the rebel fighters. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Saudi Coalition Enters a Key Airport in Yemen," 15 June 2018 Italians and the European Union will be looking to see whether the rebel parties can counter the deep malaise in one of Europe’s biggest—but most troubled—economies. Matt Murray, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 14 May 2018 The deal is final proof that the rebel forces have won. The Economist, "Buying GitHub takes Microsoft back to its roots," 9 June 2018 The director, Daniel McCabe, primarily interweaves portraits of four individuals, starting at around the time that a rebel group known as the March 23 Movement, or M23, gained ground in the country in 2012. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Review: In ‘This Is Congo,’ Four Lives Shaken by Conflict," 28 June 2018 Hundreds of civilians were killed earlier this year during the government’s monthslong offensive to push rebel groups from their last foothold near the capital, Eastern Ghouta. Louisa Loveluck, BostonGlobe.com, "UN panel accuses both Syrian army, rebels of war crimes in Eastern Ghouta fight," 20 June 2018 Hundreds of civilians were killed earlier this year during the government’s months-long offensive to push rebel groups from their last foothold near the capital, Eastern Ghouta. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "U.N. panel accuses Syrian army, and rebels, of war crimes in Eastern Ghouta fight," 20 June 2018 But rebel spokesmen insisted government troops would not be allowed in the area, which would instead be secured by a local force composed of former rebel fighters working under the Russian police. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "Rebels surrender southern Syrian enclave, handing Assad another major victory," 7 July 2018 When better, after all, than in uncertain times to reach for a bold red lipstick that commands the room or a rebel scrawl of expressive blue eyeliner? Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "14 Red, White and Blue Beauty Products for Fourth of July," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Elena eventually becomes a pawn in a government plan to sell arms covertly to rebels in Central America, a plot that in some ways mirrors the real-life events of the Iran-Contra affair. BostonGlobe.com, "Ben Affleck joins Anne Hathaway and Willem Dafoe in Netflix political thriller," 10 July 2018 This cult anime classic is back for a live action remake, as the badass heroine assassin Aeon Flux teams up with a group of biohacking rebels in the not too distant dystopian future to battle a brutally repressive regime and save humanity. Daniel Holloway, chicagotribune.com, "MTV launches studio, sets 'Daria,' 'Real World,' 'Aeon Flux' revivals," 21 June 2018 India has been fighting rebels in Jammu and Kashmir for close to three decades. Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg.com, "India's Ruling Coalition Loses a Second Ally as Pressure Builds," 20 June 2018 In addition to Sentsov, dozens of Ukrainian citizens have been sentenced to Russian prisons for what their defenders have said are dissent against Putin’s actions in Crimea and Kremlin support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Sabra Ayres, latimes.com, "Ukrainian film director on hunger strike in a Russian prison casts dark cloud over World Cup," 19 June 2018 Driven by a peacemaker’s passion and righteous urgency, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy emerges as a red-hot rebel in a Roy Lichtenstein pop art print. Alice George, Smithsonian, "On the Eve of his Death, Robert Kennedy Was a Whirlwind of Empathy and Internal Strife," 7 June 2018 Petro has even more claim to outsider status, having been a rebel in the M-19 guerrilla group back in the 1980s before entering politics and becoming mayor of Bogota. Ian Bremmer, Time, "5 Reasons Why Right-Wing Senator Ivan Duque Is Likely to Win Colombia's Presidential Election," 1 June 2018 The Reagan administration secretly sold arms to Iran (despite an arms embargo) and funneled the funds to rebels in Nicaragua—even though Congress had passed legislation prohibiting giving funds to the Contras. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "5 Things to Know About the NRA's New President Oliver North," 7 May 2018 Ronald Reagan avoided impeachment despite a White House operation to sell arms to Iran illegally and steer the proceeds to rebels in Nicaragua, also illegally. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "Why Trump May Yet Escape the Michael Cohen Freak Show," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But while some youngsters might rebel against an environment saturated with one sport, Kinner embraced it. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Kingsway's Quinn Kinner is South Jersey's senior boys' athlete of the year," 16 June 2018 While some officials have rebelled against the sanctuary law in conservative parts of the Central Valley and Southern California, Doyle presides over a liberal county in a region known for progressive views on immigration. Hamed Aleaziz, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sanctuary split: While SF jail snubs ICE, Marin County does the opposite," 24 May 2018 Tired of struggling to pay their bills and educating students without sufficient resources — or, in some places, heat to keep kids from freezing in the winter — teachers are suddenly rebelling in places not known for union activism. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Teachers have had it. Why they’re revolting against low pay and inadequate school funding.," 3 Apr. 2018 Prior to thrash metal, punk and metal fans were outright adversaries in Los Angeles, but the early thrash metal shows brought the two forces together to rebel against the popular glam-rock movement that was so prevalent in Los Angeles in the ’80s. Christa Titus, Billboard, "Watch Metallica's Lars Ulrich in 'The Rise of LA Thrash Metal' Documentary: Exclusive," 10 Jan. 2018 Now, with Iran openly rebelling, that sense of discipline is threatened. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "Iran Throws Wrench Into OPEC Plan to Lift Production," 21 June 2018 The tug's captain, saying the migrants were rebelling, asked Italy's coast guard to take the migrants. Fox News, "The Latest: Italy demands Malta rescue 450 migrants at sea," 13 July 2018 The conservative movement rebelled against this, along with other practical aspects of Nixon’s domestic policy, and yanked the party to the right. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Environmental Agenda No Longer Pretending to Care About the Free Market," 14 May 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 founder Abdul Wahid Elnur in western Jebel Marra. Fox News, "UN votes to cut UN-AU force in Sudan's Darfur region in half," 13 July 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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Learn More about rebel

Dictionary Entries near rebel

rebec

rebegin

Rebekah

rebel

rebeldom

rebeller

rebellion

Statistics for rebel

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \
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 \

Kids Definition of rebel (Entry 3 of 3)

: opposing or fighting against a government or ruler

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Comments on rebel

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