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

The rebellion, and the purge of those Conservative members of Parliament, was the culmination of Downing Street’s unusually aggressive tactics. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "U.K. Lawmakers Batter Johnson Again, Defying Him on Brexit and Election," 4 Sep. 2019 Identity theft This Attappadi rebellion is symptomatic of a larger conflict that has been playing out in India and other parts of the world: one between cultures and identities of marginal communities and those of, what are deemed, mainstream ones. K A Shaji, Quartz India, "Tribals in India’s Kerala are protesting against a Hindu name given to a captured elephant," 30 Aug. 2019 Selective service notices were in the mail, rebellion was in the air. David Shribman, BostonGlobe.com, "Tuned in to the ‘Summer of ’69’," 22 Aug. 2019 The show concerns three Gelflings who discover the horrifying secret behind the power of the dreaded Skeksis and set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world. Clark Collis, EW.com, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," 13 Aug. 2019 Susan is blatant about her rebellion, and in some ways free. Vogue, "What Desperately Seeking Susan Got Right About Fashion," 20 Aug. 2019 In Bruce Springsteen, Javed has found his voice, his muse — the organizing principle for his rebellion. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Blinded by the Light,’ it’s Springsteen as salvation," 14 Aug. 2019 My brother, the television writer, has found profit in his rebellion. Matthew Purdy, New York Times, "Just Before the Eagle Landed, an Alien Arrived in Our Living Room," 20 July 2019 While female celebrities like Love are criticized for their rebellion, male celebrities, like Cobain for example, are celebrated and mythologized for it. Lisawhill, Longreads, "Live Through This: Courtney Love at 55," 9 July 2019

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

12 Sep 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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