rebel

adjective
reb·​el | \ ˈre-bəl How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rebel (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After the deadly attack, which also wounded at least 130, a representative of Khalifa Hifter, the military strongman who launched an offensive on Tripoli in April, confirmed that the rebel forces had struck the depot. Evan Hill, New York Times, "Europe Shut These Migrants Out, Then Libyan Rebels Bombed Them," 11 July 2019 Iran and Russia have played a key role in backing Syrian President Bashar Assad and helping him overcome rebel forces in his country’s civil war. Washington Post, "The Latest: Saudi Arabia says it shot down Yemen drone," 25 June 2019 Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko, who was also charged, was a field commander of the rebel forces, investigators said. James Marson, WSJ, "Flight MH17 Prosecutors Charge Russians With Murder in Shooting Down Plane," 20 June 2019 The rebel force had only about 60 fighters, nine automatic rifles and 26 single-shot rifles and pistols when it was established in 1969, and gradually grew and expanded across the impoverished nation. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Philippine communist rebels mark 50th year with new attacks," 29 Mar. 2019 It was not immediately known if Russell will fight along with the rebel forces or the dark side. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Keri Russell in talks for 'Star Wars: Episode IX': report," 8 July 2018 He was beaten to death by one of the rebel groups, for whom arbitrary killing is a stock-in-trade. Sebastian Shukla, Tim Lister And Clarissa Ward, CNN, "The forgotten crisis that has displaced 1.2 million people," 27 June 2019 Despite a peace agreement reached between the government, pro-government militias and rebel groups in 2015, the conflict spread further south, where jihadist groups exacerbated tensions between farmers and herders over resources. Anna Pujol-mazzini, Time, "Violence in Mali Put an End to a Thriving Tourist Industry. Now the Government Wants to Tap Into China's Tourism Market," 18 June 2019 Moreover, the new government will also need to make peace with armed rebel groups in Darfur and the south, some of which say they have been excluded from the current negotiations in Khartoum. The Economist, "The Sudan peace deal is greeted with little excitement," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sudan has also been convulsed by rebellions in its far-flung provinces for decades, and the power-sharing agreement calls for the government to reach a peace agreement with the rebels within six months. Washington Post, "Sudan’s top general sworn in as leader of new ruling body," 22 Aug. 2019 The deal calls for the government to reach a peace agreement with the rebels within six months. Samy Magdy, BostonGlobe.com, "Sudanese protesters sign final power-sharing deal with army," 17 Aug. 2019 According to the 1865 biography, Cushman was embraced by Confederate circles and began spying for the Union, with storied escapades like wearing men’s clothing to intermingle with rebels. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy," 12 Aug. 2019 Mr Putin is losing patience with rebels who have also shelled Russian bases in Syria. The Economist, "Bashar al-Assad’s ruinous campaign to retake Idlib from Syrian rebels," 6 June 2019 Both face Western pressure over their devastating three-year war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, and Riyadh is still grappling with the fallout from the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents last year. Bouazza Bin Bouazza, The Seattle Times, "Arab League rejects Trump’s Israel policies at annual summit," 31 Mar. 2019 Efforts at negotiating a deal with the ELN had started under Mr. Duque’s predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, but have made little progress with the rebels and the government accusing each other of instigating violence. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Colombian Rebel Group Claims Responsibility for Police Bombing," 21 Jan. 2019 After initial hesitation, President Obama declared that Assad must go, but without lending more than grudging assistance to rebel groups fighting to achieve that outcome. Brian Stewart, National Review, "For Sama: A Chronicle of the Syrian Tragedy," 10 Aug. 2019 The words were emblazoned beneath an image of the cannon on a battle flag flown at the Battle of Gonzalez where Mexican dragoons skirmished unsuccessfully with the Texian rebels to decide the matter. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Parliament has rebelled against his position that the UK should be willing to leave the EU on Oct. 31 without a withdrawal deal to manage the transition. Karla Adam, BostonGlobe.com, "Boris Johnson continues push for elections as brother quits Parliament," 5 Sep. 2019 Some neighborhoods, however, have rebelled against undergrounding because of construction hassles, the city’s inability to stick to schedules and unattractive utility boxes blocking sidewalks when projects are complete. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego updating utility undergrounding policy to reduce confusion," 21 Aug. 2019 Schools should also provide incentives for students who are brave enough to publicly rebel against vaping, which would attack the e-cigarettes’ social value. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Campbell high schools not doing enough about vaping," 4 Aug. 2019 Investors will rebel and hold companies accountable for the damage to their brand. Will Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Companies get off too easy with data breaches. Bigger fines are a good place to start," 31 July 2019 Two days before that, Dzamara told a rally organized by then-opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai that Zimbabweans should rebel against Mugabe. Cara Anna, Fox News, "New Amnesty International leader's 1st move targets Zimbabwe," 15 Aug. 2018 The clip takes place in a nice suburban neighborhood, where a group of polite kids rebel against their parents. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "8-Year-Old Girl Rocks Out With Slipknot 'The Devil In I' Cover," 25 July 2019 In 1972, when the company began to speed up the line—to a production rate of 100 cars an hour—the workers rebelled and went on strike. Sarah Jaffe, The New Republic, "The Road Not Taken," 24 June 2019 Wen was born in Shanghai to a family of political dissidents who rebelled against the communist regime’s crackdown on free speech. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "The New President Of Planned Parenthood Has Big Plans For The Future," 14 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rebel

Dictionary Entries near rebel

rebec

rebegin

Rebekah

rebel

rebeldom

rebeller

rebellion

Statistics for rebel

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rebel

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rebel (audio) \
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 How to pronounce rebel (audio) \

Kids Definition of rebel (Entry 3 of 3)

: opposing or fighting against a government or ruler

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up rebel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!