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re·​vanch·​ist rə-ˈväⁿ-shist How to pronounce revanchist (audio)
: of or relating to a policy designed to recover lost territory or status : of or relating to a revanche
Each of Hitler's allies had their own, partially interrelated, expansionary or revanchist motives for attacking the Soviet Union.Michael Burleigh
Wilson brought with him a sheaf of high principles—democracy, self-determination, world government—that bore little relevance to the tangled politics and even more tangled geography of postwar Europe. His idealism was soon drowned out by the revanchist passions of his allies.Kenneth Auchincloss
also : advocating or fighting for the recovery of lost territory or status
While revanchist emperors, such as Julian, were still mouthing the aristocratic ideology of imperialist aggression, more realistic rulers, like Constantius II, recognized that the future lay in accommodation with the so-called barbarians who had already infiltrated the heights of army and administration. C. R. Whittaker


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plural revanchists
: one who advocates or fights for the recovery of lost territory or status : one who advocates a policy of revanche
In eastern and South-Eastern Europe today, one man's courageous defender of national self-determination is another's nostalgic revanchist.Tony Judt
Later in 2007, Pelosi plans to rewrite the laws on pork-barrel spending. She promises that the overall effect of her reforms will be "to break the link between lobbyists and legislation" in Washington. Who will win the coming battle between reformers and revanchists?Massimo Calabresi

Examples of revanchist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Fascism represented a hopeful example of a revanchist elite reversing the tide. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2024 As Russian President Vladimir Putin has demonstrated in Ukraine, the leaders of revanchist powers are not known for appetite suppression. Andrew S. Erickson, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2024 It is called the liberal order, an open commercial system in which participants can trade and prosper in peace without fear of being gobbled up by revanchist empires. Michael Beckley, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 Which is why, if and when Russian troops begin blasting further through Ukraine, the sole responsibility for the resultant bloodshed will lie with the revanchist dictatorship in the Kremlin, seeking to claw back its former colonial holdings, and not with the West. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 15 Feb. 2022 Since 1991, these agencies have been driven by a revanchist strategy to make Russia great again and to overturn the post–Cold War U.S.-led international order. Calder Walton, Foreign Affairs, 19 July 2023 Rather than destabilizing Russia and its neighbors, a Ukrainian victory would eliminate a powerful revanchist force and boost the cause of democracy worldwide. Garry Kasparov, Foreign Affairs, 20 Jan. 2023 Putin leads a defeated empire, sitting atop a nationalist regime with revanchist claims over his neighbors. Michael Mazza and Shay Khatiri, Washington Examiner, 1 June 2023 This should be a chastening moment for revanchist forces in Tennessee’s legislature and across the country. Elise Hammond, CNN, 12 Apr. 2023
Signs of a retrenchment start with Congress’ reluctance to authorize additional military assistance for Ukraine to defend it from a revanchist Russia. Jon Sebastian Shifrin, Baltimore Sun, 26 Apr. 2024 At some point, a revanchist Russia will move in again. Branislav L. Slantchev, Foreign Affairs, 1 Apr. 2024 As Washington and its friends try to manage an ascendant China and a revanchist Russia, international law and norms have the potential to be potent constraints that draw a line between legitimate and illegitimate action. Suzanne Nossel, Foreign Affairs, 19 Sep. 2022 Her dramatic appearance electrified a conference already consumed with the threat posed by a revanchist Russia. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 17 Feb. 2024 For its part, the Azerbaijani side showed little interest in substantial negotiations and built up its own revanchist project for reconquest of its territories. Thomas De Waal, Foreign Affairs, 26 Sep. 2023 Ukraine’s fight for self-preservation has buffered our NATO allies from a revanchist Russia, while significantly degrading Moscow’s military forces. The Editors, National Review, 6 Dec. 2023 More than 100 years after Le Corbusier’s revolution, modernist design still retains a revanchist hold, especially in the upper strata of prestige. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 23 Oct. 2023 But Biden now has an opportunity to reverse this process and put an end to Smotrich’s revanchist ambitions. Martin Indyk, Foreign Affairs, 2 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'revanchist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1948, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of revanchist was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near revanchist

Cite this Entry

“Revanchist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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