re·​pub·​li·​can | \ri-ˈpə-bli-kən \

Definition of republican 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that favors or supports a republican form of government

2 capitalized

a : a member of a political party advocating republicanism

b : a member of the Democratic-Republican party or of the Republican party of the U.S.



Definition of republican (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a republic

b : favoring, supporting, or advocating a republic

c : belonging or appropriate to one living in or supporting a republic republican simplicity

2 capitalized

a : democratic-republican

b : of, relating to, or constituting the one of the two major political parties evolving in the U.S. in the mid-19th century that is usually primarily associated with business, financial, and some agricultural interests and is held to favor a restricted governmental role in economic life


geographical name

Definition of Republican (Entry 3 of 3)

river 445 miles (716 kilometers) long in Nebraska and Kansas rising in eastern Colorado and flowing east to unite with the Smoky Hill River forming the Kansas River

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Synonyms & Antonyms for republican

Synonyms: Adjective

democratic, popular, self-governing, self-ruling

Antonyms: Adjective

nondemocratic, undemocratic

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Examples of republican in a Sentence


Our state representative is a Republican. The state's voters are mostly Republicans.


the leader of the Republican Party a small but well-organized republican movement working quietly to overthrow the military dictatorship
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In this sense, the future king presents both a worry and an opportunity for republicans. NBC News, "British anti-monarchy activists won't be cheering royal wedding," 17 May 2018 What does this tell you about what's going on with the republicans? Fox News, "Father of Parkland victim angry after Santa Fe shooting," 19 May 2018 Likethumb_up24 Replyreply Linklink Copy Reportflag robertdpierce 1 hour ago Trump and his gang of republicans. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "A grandmother made her grandchildren ride in dog kennels for half-hour drive, police say," 11 June 2018 One important pro-monarchy argument republicans reject is that the queen attracts a fortune to the country through tourism and trade. NBC News, "British anti-monarchy activists won't be cheering royal wedding," 17 May 2018 Dissident republicans would rather kill Martin Ferris than talk to him. Kevin Cullen,, "So much for the luck of the Irish," 15 Mar. 2018 Democrats and moderate republicans are currently using this same tactic to push a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Congress is less than 50 votes from passing a motion to save net neutrality," 8 June 2018 Three republicans joined with 19 Democrats on the measure. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Virginia Senate voted to expand Medicaid ... thanks to a handful of Republicans.," 30 May 2018 Former New York senator Al D’Amato discusses the September 30th deadline for Senate republicans to repeal the affordable care act using budget reconciliation, which would allow a repeal with no democratic support for the measure., "Senate Republicans Face Ticking Clock on Healthcare (Audio)," 20 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Within the context of civic-republican thought, Bobby’s apparently disparate political stands become perfectly sensible and coherent. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "RFK, Civic Republican," 25 May 2018 On Easter Sunday, Ricky O’Rawe and his wife Bernadette walked from their house to the republican plot at Milltown Cemetery, long after the official commemorations were over. Kevin Cullen,, "Irish hopes may be stopped at the border," 8 Apr. 2018 The paper’s recent editorial published two days after the primary elections, highlighted the experience of house republican Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake who had lost the endorsement of Empower Texans. Richard Greene, star-telegram, "Empower Texans isn't finished with Tarrant County | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 Mar. 2018 Civic republican theory, by contrast, defines freedom in terms of self-government, which involves full citizen participation in the affairs of the community and the ongoing process of determining the community’s collective destiny. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Are You Progressive?," 20 Apr. 2018 Led by then-governor Nikki Haley, 10 republican governors signed on to the effort in 2016. Victoria Mckenzie, CBS News, "Are cellphones really to blame for spike in S.C. prison violence?," 19 Apr. 2018 According to the Irish Independent, thousands attended Sunday’s military ceremony outside the General Post Office on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, where in 1916 the rebels hoisted two republican flags and read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Kim Janssen,, "In Dublin, Mayor Emanuel commemorates Easter Rising with Irish president, taoiseach," 2 Apr. 2018 Sir, the inherent principle of the white majority of this nation is to refuse forever republican equality to the black minority. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The International Vision of John Willis Menard, First African-American Elected to Congress," 6 Mar. 2018 About 3,500 people died in the Troubles between 1969 and 1998, with the republican side, dominated by the Provisional IRA, believed to be responsible for more than 2,000 of the deaths. Ed O’loughlin, The Seattle Times, "After 34 years, a change for Sinn Fein with its first female leader," 10 Feb. 2018

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


1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Statistics for republican

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for republican

The first known use of republican was in 1646

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More Definitions for republican



English Language Learners Definition of republican

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Republican : a member of the Republican party of the U.S.

: a person who believes in or supports a republican form of government

Republican : a person from Northern Ireland who believes that Northern Ireland should be part of the Republic of Ireland rather than the United Kingdom



English Language Learners Definition of republican (Entry 2 of 2)

Republican : of or relating to one of the two major political parties in the U.S.

: relating to or based on a form of government in which representatives are elected and there is no king or queen


re·​pub·​li·​can | \ri-ˈpə-bli-kən \

Kids Definition of republican

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who favors a form of government having elected representatives

2 capitalized : a member of the Republican party of the United States



Kids Definition of republican (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being a form of government having elected representatives

2 : relating to a major political party in the United States that is associated with business interests and favors a limited government role in economic matters

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Comments on republican

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


a knickknack or trinket

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