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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
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 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
As the trailer for Dial of Destiny reveals, these old villains return in a new revanchist form. Petar Parvanov, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 July 2023 Griffith was a sincere revanchist; Riefenstahl, more sophisticated, took refuge in her opportunism. The New Republic, 22 June 2023 Indiscriminate missile and artillery strikes, massacres, torture, and rape are designed to traumatize Ukraine’s civilian population and exhaust its will to resist Moscow’s revanchist aggression. Nate Sibley, National Review, 21 June 2023 And during Obama’s second term, Washington’s global agenda looked something like the one that Biden described in his address to the G-7: organizing the world to combat climate change, strengthening global health systems, and pivoting to Asia while trying to contain a revanchist Russia. Ben Rhodes, Foreign Affairs, 24 Aug. 2021 The difference between then and now, Bronski said, is that this is the revanchists’ last stand. Yvonne Abraham,, 3 June 2023 The confluence of the rise of revanchist Xi’s Communist China and its strategic nuclear breakout underscores what has been dubbed the decade of danger. Rebeccah Heinrichs, National Review, 29 May 2023 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 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 Oct. 2023.

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