rebel

1 of 3

adjective

reb·​el ˈre-bəl How to pronounce rebel (audio)
1
a
: opposing or taking arms against a government or ruler
b
: of or relating to rebels
the rebel camp
2

rebel

2 of 3

noun

: one who rebels or participates in a rebellion

rebel

3 of 3

verb

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

intransitive verb

1
a
: to oppose or disobey one in authority or control
b
: to renounce and resist by force the authority of one's government
2
a
: 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The Congolese army is fighting M23, a rebel group that's been operating in the region for more than a decade. Matt Ozug, NPR, 5 Apr. 2024 Russia is playing an increasingly active role in the Sahel to support various rebel groups. Saleem H. Ali, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 In addition to marksmanship, he’s learned that being a rebel fighter demands sacrifice. Aakash Hassan, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Feb. 2024 To help President Bashar al-Assad of Syria beat back rebel forces and Islamic State terrorists, Iran at the time began recruiting thousands of Afghan refugees to fight, offering $500 a month, schooling for their children, and Iranian residency. Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2024 Termed the Axis of Resistance, this alliance of proxies, non-state groups, and rebel movements now spans Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza and the West Bank and the Houthis in Yemen. Seth Cropsey, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 Islamic State propaganda has railed against Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow intervened in Syria’s civil war in 2015, sending bomber aircraft and helicopters to attack rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Souad Mekhennet, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 In an ironic twist, some of the rebel groups most notorious for narcotics production and smuggling are today taking credit for pushing out the scammers. TIME, 21 Mar. 2024 That campaign will take long hours as this tactical role-playing game has players building a rebel army from scratch. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024
Noun
Elena’s right-hand woman was shot by rebels during the palace raid at the end of Episode 5. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 Mary, Queen of Scots, has been imprisoned by rebels and forced to leave her son, the future King James, with her enemies. The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 Houthi rebel attacks on tankers in the Red Sea have delayed crude shipments. Lucia Kassai, Fortune, 7 Apr. 2024 Myanmar is locked in a civil war between the military on one side and, on the other, a loose alliance of ethnic minority rebels and an armed movement which emerged in response to the junta’s bloody crackdown on anti-coup protests. Reuters, NBC News, 4 Apr. 2024 Mexico’s Catholic leaders had mediated in crises before — notably, after the uprising by Indigenous Zapatista rebels in 1994. Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2024 Widespread public opposition to the military’s forcible takeover and bloody crackdown on protesters has only grown in the past three years and a nationwide armed resistance movement, which includes many of the country’s powerful ethnic rebel armies, now poses a legitimate threat to the junta. Helen Regan, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 The accident comes as global shipping has largely adjusted to disruptions from Houthi rebel attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 27 Mar. 2024 Aggravated over former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., leading a bipartisan deal to temporarily avert a shutdown last year, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., along with seven other conservative rebels and all House Democrats, ousted McCarthy from the speakership. USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2024
Verb
The amendment, which dates to the end of the Civil War, was designed to prohibit people who had previously served in government, but rebelled against it, from holding office again, explained University of California, Los Angeles, Law Professor Rick Hasen. USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024 But some insiders maintain that no one in the news division raised any objection to the deal before it was announced — not even MSNBC chief Rashida Jones, who subsequently reassured the rebelling hosts that McDaniel would not appear on the network’s air. Kim Masters, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Mar. 2024 The phenomenon has its roots in the early 2000s, when many millennials rebelled against the mcmansion-leaning norms of late 20th century culture. Alena Botros, Fortune, 28 Jan. 2024 The selection was created in 1968 amid a political upheaval led by filmmakers of the French New Wave who rebelled against the Cannes Film Festival. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 27 Mar. 2024 The court consumed the wealth of France, starving its populace (who, of course, eventually rebelled) and, along the way, smothering its queen, who, in her way, also rebelled, albeit behind the walls of power. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 19 Mar. 2024 Its success leads her to rebel, firstly through passionate love affairs with women and then by reclaiming her authorship. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 22 Feb. 2024 Aleksei’s time in the barracks and in training get intercut with the story of a Nigerian brother (Morr Ndiaye) and sister (Laetitia Ky) ]rebelling against what’s happening on the Niger Delta, a land relentlessly stripped of its resources and minerals by various countries. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024 The Slits were naked except for loincloths and covered in mud, not Noxzema, but there was still the idea that both bands wanted to rebel against stereotypical, hypersexualized notions of what women should look like on an album cover. Longreads, 16 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rebel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rebel

Cite this Entry

“Rebel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebel. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

rebel

1 of 3 adjective
reb·​el ˈreb-əl How to pronounce rebel (audio)
1
: being or fighting against one's government or ruler
2
: not obeying

rebel

2 of 3 noun
: a person who refuses to give in to authority

rebel

3 of 3 verb
re·​bel ri-ˈbel How to pronounce rebel (audio)
rebelled; rebelling
1
: to be against or fight against authority and especially the authority of one's government
2
: to feel or show anger or strong dislike

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