re·​vanch·​ist | \ rə-ˈväⁿ-shist How to pronounce revanchist (audio) \

Definition of revanchist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


\ rə-ˈväⁿ-shist How to pronounce revanchist (audio) \
plural revanchists

Definition of revanchist (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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: Adjective The coup brought a revanchist evangelist right-wing to power in Bolivia, which repeatedly put off new elections for nearly a year, when Morales’ party won the presidency. Laura Weiss, The New Republic, "Stop Comparing the Capitol Riot to Banana Republics. It’s Lazy—and Wrong.," 11 Jan. 2021 Weiner puts us inside a revanchist Kremlin, angry at its lost empire and happy to make Americans pay for it. Washington Post, "The 75-year political war between the United States and Russia," 23 Oct. 2020 During the 1996 Presidential race, Channel One joined other outlets in openly supporting Yeltsin’s campaign and disparaging his revanchist Communist opponent. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The Kremlin’s Creative Director," 9 Dec. 2019 Russia, meanwhile, replaced Soviet rule with a revanchist autocracy. The Economist, "Our books of the year," 7 Dec. 2019 The possibility of a revanchist Nazi movement coming to power was not unthinkable at the time. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Crowder Isn’t a Threat to Public Safety," 6 June 2019 And its clientele in this revanchist effort includes oil companies fearing clean-energy cars and also an auto industry that now sees an opportunity to batten on low oil prices and the consequent consumer lust for gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Administration Declares War on California’s Environmental Standards," 3 Apr. 2018 The revanchist culture war Donald Trump has declared on liberals, the mainstream media, and most members of Congress in his own party may only be beginning. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio, Igniting Yet Another Political Crisis," 24 Aug. 2017 It’s startling the way the word ‘‘Breitbart’’ has become iconographic, referring not really to the website or the company but to an amorphous mass of revanchist opinions for which Breitbart receives credit or blame. Wil S. Hylton, New York Times, "Down the Breitbart Hole," 16 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An autonomous Europe without the guiding hand of Washington, however, would be prone to dithering, duplication, and drift — and vulnerable to division by a revanchist Russia and emerging China. Peter Rough, National Review, "The Bull in Europe’s China Shop," 27 Sep. 2020 Theater performances and museum exhibits are subject to censorship and increasingly present a vision of the nation’s past that is revanchist, anticommunist, and preoccupied with its medieval roots. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 Maybe so, but the more pessimistic view is that Putin represents a now-entrenched revanchist nationalism that sees the liberal international order as a mere smokescreen for the advancement of Western political agendas. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 The punitive peace meted out by the victors forced Germany to cede lands in the east, such that even Germany’s democratic parties soon rallied around a revanchist agenda. Josef Joffe, WSJ, "Is Germany Slouching Toward Weimar Again?," 23 Sep. 2018 The 9/11 attacks – and more recently Western fears of a revanchist Russia – quieted much of the questioning of NATO’s continued existence. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "NATO: Does old squabble over costs mask US shift away from Europe?," 10 July 2018 For a revanchist Russia, on the other hand, the upsides are crystal clear. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "In Trump’s Russia Summit, Putin Holds All the Cards," 29 June 2018 Amid this frenzy, Pruitt was unveiling one of the cornerstones of his revanchist environmental policy on Tuesday. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Pruitt Tries to Ruin the Planet Before Getting Fired," 3 Apr. 2018 But last month, Alternative for Germany, the country’s anti-immigration party, made major electoral gains, signifying that the continent’s revanchist forces were still a force to be reckoned with. Sunday’s results only confirmed that reality. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Far Right Makes Momentous Gains in Austrian Elections," 15 Oct. 2017

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


1948, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Revanchist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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