rebellion

noun
re·​bel·​lion | \ ri-ˈbel-yən How to pronounce rebellion (audio) \

Definition of rebellion

1 : opposition to one in authority or dominance
2a : open, armed, and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government
b : an instance of such defiance or resistance

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Choose the Right Synonym for rebellion

rebellion, revolution, uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny mean an outbreak against authority. rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful. open rebellion against the officers revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government). a political revolution that toppled the monarchy uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion. quickly put down the uprising revolt and insurrection imply an armed uprising that quickly fails or succeeds. a revolt by the Young Turks that surprised party leaders an insurrection of oppressed laborers mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority. a mutiny led by the ship's cook

Did You Know?

Plenty of teenagers rebel against their parents in all kinds of ways. But a rebellion usually involves a group. Armed rebellions are usually put down by a country's armed forces, or at least kept from expanding beyond a small area. The American War of Independence was first viewed by the British as a minor rebellion that would soon run its course, but this particular rebellion led to a full-fledged revolution--that is, the overthrow of a government. Rebellion, armed or otherwise, has often alerted those in power that those they control are very unhappy.

Examples of rebellion in a Sentence

The king's army suppressed the rebellion. The unfair tax laws sparked a rebellion. The peasants rose in rebellion. She's the head of a rebellion against the leaders of the party. Recent election losses have led to open rebellion among some party members, who are calling for a complete change of leadership.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His proclamation of freedom applied only to slave states still in rebellion. WSJ, "Abraham Lincoln Really Was the Emancipator," 20 Feb. 2019 President Andrzej Duda is to preside over official commemorations and will pay homage to the hundreds of Jewish fighters who took up arms in the 1943 rebellion against the Germans during World War II. Fox News, "Poland marks 75th anniversary of uprising in Warsaw Ghetto," 20 Apr. 2018 Three months later, the Bavarian rebellion could undo the fractious coalition after all. New York Times, "Germany’s Merkel Seemed to Get a Reprieve Over Migrants. It Didn’t Last.," 1 July 2018 The biggest rebellion is coming into your vulnerability and seeing that as a power. Mariano Vivanco; Styled By Simon Robins, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New American Dynasty," 3 Dec. 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 The province, the size of Lebanon, has been the beating heart of the rebellion for years. Fox News, "Last stand: Syria's rebel Idlib prepares for a losing battle," 16 Sep. 2018 The movie accepts the most romantic motivations for Wallace’s rebellion, doubling down on sketchy information about a woman who was executed for helping him escape the English. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 The United States, founded in a war that began as a political rebellion, likes to pride itself on a political system that discourages violence and emphasizes dialogue — no matter how loud and contentious. David Crary, The Seattle Times, "Bomb scare rattles those touched by past political violence," 27 Oct. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for rebellion

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

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More Definitions for rebellion

rebellion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rebellion

: an effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country by the use of protest or violence
: open opposition toward a person or group in authority
: refusal to obey rules or accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.

rebellion

noun
re·​bel·​lion | \ ri-ˈbel-yən How to pronounce rebellion (audio) \

Kids Definition of rebellion

1 : open opposition to authority The strict rules caused rebellion in their class.
2 : an open fight by citizens against their government

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