re·​bel·​lious | \ ri-ˈbel-yəs How to pronounce rebellious (audio) \

Definition of rebellious

1a : given to or engaged in rebellion rebellious troops
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a rebel or rebellion a rebellious speech
2 : resisting treatment or management : refractory

Other Words from rebellious

rebelliously adverb
rebelliousness noun

Examples of rebellious in a Sentence

the rebellious troops fought a pitched battle with divisions still loyal to the government expected her son to grow a little more rebellious as he got older, but she knew he understood when to kick and when to obey
Recent Examples on the Web This dark comedy about a quartet of rebellious and delinquent Indigenous teens who live on a reservation in Oklahoma is utterly unique. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 21 Dec. 2021 This week’s portion speaks of the ben sorer u’moreh, the stubborn and rebellious son (Deuteronomy 21:18–21). Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 16 Aug. 2021 The lead singer of Lady Parts, Saira seems particularly fierce and rebellious., 22 June 2021 But Estella is both talented and rebellious—a dangerous combination to someone like the Baroness, who is more than happy to take credit for Estella's hard work. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, 28 May 2021 Little Women, a rebellious teen in The Virgin Suicides, and a peppy cheerleader in Bring It On. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 24 Nov. 2021 Raised by a single mother who had a litany of mental health issues and an abusive partner, Mr. Blystone was rebellious growing up. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Nov. 2021 Together with Tommy Nutter, Sexton revolutionized the Row in 1969 with his rebellious, avant-garde house style: square shoulders, sweeping lapels, nipped waists and long, flared jackets that still impress today. Aleks Cvetkovic, Robb Report, 3 Nov. 2021 Earlier in the day, Abiy's office said government soldiers supported by regional forces had recaptured territory from rebellious Tigrayan fighters. Reuters, CNN, 1 Dec. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of rebellious was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rebellious



rebellious streak

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rebellious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for rebellious



English Language Learners Definition of rebellious

: fighting against a government
: refusing to obey rules or authority or to accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc. : having or showing a tendency to rebel


re·​bel·​lious | \ ri-ˈbel-yəs How to pronounce rebellious (audio) \

Kids Definition of rebellious

1 : taking part in rebellion rebellious troops
2 : fighting against or refusing to obey authority a rebellious teenager

Other Words from rebellious

rebelliously adverb
rebelliousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rebellious

Nglish: Translation of rebellious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rebellious for Arabic Speakers


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