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

Italy, a founding member of the EU and Europe’s fourth-biggest economy, is testing whether a rebel government can defy the bloc’s rules and skirt pressure from financial markets to back down. Christopher Whittall, WSJ, "In First for Europe, Brussels Rejects Italy’s Budget," 23 Oct. 2018 The minister of information in the pro-rebel government, Abdel-Salam Gabir, said three security guards and an employee were among those killed in the attack in al-Marawa district in Hodeida. Ahmed Al-haj, Fox News, "Rebels say airstrike hits radio station in Yemen, killing 4," 16 Sep. 2018 And then there are rock-royalty princesses, like Frances Bean Cobain, who starred as the rebel face of the designer's Spring 2017 campaign. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "20 Marc Jacobs Muses (and Beauty Rebels!) Who Stole Our Hearts," 12 Sep. 2018 Beyond all the panic in Panem, there was plenty of drama in the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth's Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’s childhood friend (read: crush) turned rebel leader. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "Where the "Hunger Games" Stars Are Today," 14 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Iran is allied with the Houthi rebels and has been accused of supplying them with weapons, including ballistic missiles, but Iranian troops are not present on the ground in Yemen. Rick Noack, The Seattle Times, "85,000 children have starved to death during the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, charity reports," 21 Nov. 2018 In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed open solidarity with rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations. Fox News, "Clashes erupt around Kashmir after Indian troops kill man," 27 Sep. 2018 The prospect of yet another general election does not daunt them, either: The Tory rebels believe their support for a hard Brexit would help, not hurt, them in that vote. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Brexit Crisis Finally Engulfs the Party That Started It," 11 July 2018 The policy was launched five years ago as Syria’s civil war showed no sign of ending and amid Israeli concerns that Islamist militants among the Syrian rebels might use the area to launch attacks against Israel. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, "Syrian civil war, on Israel's doorstep, brings swirl of changing attitudes," 11 July 2018 Russia, which backs Mr Assad, is trying to persuade the rebels to hand over their weapons as part of a deal to end the fighting. The Economist, "Politics this week," 5 July 2018 Both France and Spain, to undermine British power, provided both arms and troops to the rambunctious rebels. Alice George, Smithsonian, "The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War," 28 June 2018 Ministers will hold discussions with potential rebels on Tuesday but insist there will be no further concessions, according to a person familiar with government plans. Thomas Penny, Bloomberg.com, "May Loses in House of Lords on Brexit Vote, Setting Up Commons Battle," 19 June 2018 Conservative candidate Ivan Duque has repeatedly pledged to roll back parts of the landmark 2016 peace agreement with rebels from the FARC group—a deal that formally ended more than 50 years of conflict in the South American nation. Lucy Sherriff/bogota, Time, "Colombia Was Just Starting to Deliver Justice to Women. Will a New President Get in the Way?," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The tug’s captain said when the migrants aboard realized the tug was headed south to put them in the hands of Libyan authorities, some rebelled. Washington Post, "Rescued migrants questioned in Sicily about alleged threats," 13 July 2018 She has been defeated on the issue there before, when Tory rebels voted with Labour lawmakers against the government. Emma Ross-thomas, Bloomberg.com, "Lawmakers Could Still Thwart Brexit When Deal Reaches Parliament," 15 Apr. 2018 Luci pushes Bean to defy convention, but rebelling in accordance with someone else’s orders isn’t much of a rebellion. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Disenchantment suggests the messy future of princess stories," 22 Aug. 2018 More conservative party members rebelled and Calderón's wife launched a presidential bid, ultimately dropping out of the race. Dudley Althaus, Washington Post, "These are the four candidates in Mexico’s presidential election," 29 June 2018 Anwar served as Mahathir's deputy prime minister in the 1990s before rebelling and leading the protests that accompanied the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. Simon Roughneen, latimes.com, "Malaysia's opposition wins election, upsetting the coalition that has ruled for 60 years," 9 May 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

2 Dec 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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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

Comments on rebel

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