re·​pub·​li·​can | \ ri-ˈpə-bli-kən How to pronounce republican (audio) \

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
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

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of republican in a Sentence

Noun Our state representative is a Republican. The state's voters are mostly Republicans. Adjective 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 For decades, a debate has raged in Britain, pitting republicans, who wish to do away with the royal family, against monarchists and others who support them. NBC News, "'Megxit' could pack a punch to the British economy," 9 Jan. 2020 Liberal republicans disapproved, but Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary, sent his congratulations. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Shadow Emperor’ Review: The Other Bonaparte," 29 May 2018 The Alliance party, which took votes from the DUP, and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, which took votes from Sinn Fein, represent more moderate tendencies among unionists and republicans respectively. The Economist, "Forced remarriage Northern Ireland gets a government again," 10 Jan. 2020 Young republicans are worried about climate change, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in October. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Hoosier College Republicans join national campaign to change GOP position on climate change," 27 Dec. 2019 Likewise in Northern Ireland, neither unionists nor republicans can abide the prime minister’s Brexit plans. The Economist, "Britain’s election Victory for Boris Johnson’s all-new Tories," 13 Dec. 2019 Running for constable for Precinct 4 are republicans D.J. Alvarez and Justin West. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Filing period for March primaries in Galveston County comes to a close," 13 Dec. 2019 This would be possible under the terms of the Good Friday agreement that brought an end to decades of fighting in Northern Ireland between armed factions of republicans and unionists. Washington Post, "UK Brexit plans stir talk of Irish unity among activists," 4 Oct. 2019 The Crown has a way of turning republicans into royalists. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Crown's Josh O'Connor Doesn't Want to Ask Prince Charles About Princess Diana or Camilla," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After many months of hard-fought negotiations, the biggest unionist and republican parties agreed on January 10th to go back into government together, creating a new element of hope in the often unforgiving politics of Belfast. The Economist, "Forced remarriage Northern Ireland gets a government again," 10 Jan. 2020 Bloomberg News congressional editor Kevin Whitelaw discusses the state of the Republican Party after the failure of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare plan in the Senate, and anti-establishment candidate Roy Moore won the Alabama republican primary., "GOP Turns to Taxes After ACA Repeal Fails in the Senate (Audio)," 27 Sep. 2017 And so did the viability of the Revolution’s political experiment and the Founders’ republican vision. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 Minka Kelly also shared her story, posting a collage of the 25 republican men who voted to pass the bill in Alabama. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Abortion Stories Flood Social Media with #YouKnowMe Hashtag," 16 May 2019 In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted., "This day in history," 23 June 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for republican

Time Traveler

The first known use of republican was in 1646

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Statistics for republican

Last Updated

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Republican.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for republican


How to pronounce Republican (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of republican

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a member of the Republican party of the U.S.
: a person who believes in or supports a republican form of government
: 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)

US : 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 How to pronounce republican (audio) \

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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