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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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
This should be a chastening moment for revanchist forces in Tennessee’s legislature and across the country. Elise Hammond, CNN, 12 Apr. 2023 Each time around, B. has confidently predicted a GOP landslide, and each time, he’s been wrong, settling deeper into revanchist fury. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 9 Feb. 2023 Yes, some of the truly revanchist ideas that pervaded in football have faded, but chalking these developments up entirely to enlightenment is a comforting delusion. Robert Silverman, Rolling Stone, 12 Feb. 2023 Three decades later, Ukrainians still continue to fight for independence from a revanchist Moscow. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 16 Dec. 2022 Thousands of miles away, officials from another country facing up to a revanchist neighbor are taking notes. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2022 Preoccupations like these have fuelled a revanchist current in education, which has taken many forms. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2022 Kristi Raik, director of the International Center for Defense and Security’s Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, said Western policy toward Russia since 2007 ignored clear signs of Russia’s revanchist imperialism and autocratic path. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2022 The opposition figure’s few comments on the Ukrainian region came in the swirl surrounding Russia’s initial 2014 invasion, when Putin first launched his revanchist project in Ukraine. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 4 Oct. 2022
Taking a respite from the momentous confrontation with a revanchist Russia in Ukraine, President Biden and other leaders gathered at Washington National Cathedral to summon her courage and conviction to steel themselves and the next generation for the challenges of their own time. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 For the revanchist right, the plight of American men is existential. Idrees Kahloon, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2023 It is invaded by a revanchist Russia, led by a former KGB colonel. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 14 Sep. 2022 The revanchist canon this produces can be reactionary in its own way. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Putin also openly stated his revanchist, imperialist goals, declaring that Ukraine was not a real country and making the ahistorical suggestion that it should be subsumed back into mother Russia. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 29 June 2022 President Vladimir Putin compared himself to Peter the Great, the emperor who led Russia’s 18th-century territorial expansion, in a speech that underscored his revanchist ambitions. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 Alarmed by the danger posed by a revanchist Russia, Finland is now ready to join the Atlantic Alliance. The Editors, National Review, 13 May 2022 On March 2, the Monitor described how the invasion is dividing Europe between NATO on one side and a revanchist Moscow on the other. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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 4 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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