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

During slavery, black women did not own their own bodies, and in modern day, asserting your body as your own as a black woman can feel like an act of rebellion. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The "Wonderful Weirdness" of Female Sexuality," 23 Oct. 2018 Clearly, what was once a few embers of rebellion has grown into a full-fledged blaze. refinery29.com, "What That Frustrating Handmaid's Tale Finale Means For Season 3," 11 July 2018 Any serious intervention by the US and its allies now would only serve to intensify the war, and potentially prolong the rebellion for years. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "What do the US, UK and French airstrikes mean for Syria's war?," 15 Apr. 2018 Thus, a whole new look was born and wearing CK logo underwear above your waistband became a symbol of rebellion for the next generation. Barbara De Vries, miamiherald, "Did Calvin Klein empower women, or was he just another sexist? | Miami Herald," 26 Mar. 2018 The film follows Marina (played by transgender actress Daniela Vega) in a quiet rebellion for dignity against condescension and relentless humiliation. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Oscar winner 'A Fantastic Woman' draws attention to transgender rights," 5 Mar. 2018 For girls, the Barbie represented a kind of rebellion. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "There’s Something About Barbie," 7 Mar. 2019 The charge of rebellion will hinge on whether the prosecution can establish that the separatists employed violence during the breakaway attempt. Aritz Parra, The Seattle Times, "Spain’s courts put to test by trial of Catalan separatists," 11 Feb. 2019 For some homeowners and proponents, edible landscaping is a rebellion against the overmanicured, overwatered and overfertilized lawn and maintenance-heavy backyard flower or vegetable garden. Ken Wells, WSJ, "The New American Garden Is Edible," 2 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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Statistics for rebellion

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on rebellion

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