1 of 2


re·​volt ri-ˈvōlt How to pronounce revolt (audio)
 also  -ˈvȯlt
revolted; revolting; revolts

intransitive verb

: to renounce allegiance or subjection (as to a government) : rebel
: to experience disgust or shock
: to turn away with disgust

transitive verb

: to cause to turn away or shrink with disgust or abhorrence
revolter noun


2 of 2


: a renouncing of allegiance (as to a government or party)
especially : a determined armed uprising
: a movement or expression of vigorous dissent

Did you know?

Revolution and Revolt

Revolution and revolt have a shared origin, both ultimately going back to the Latin revolvere “to revolve, roll back.” When revolution first appeared in English in the 14th century, it referred to the movement of a celestial body in orbit; that sense was extended to “a progressive motion of a body around an axis,” “completion of a course,” and other senses suggesting regularity of motion or a predictable return to an original position. At virtually the same time, the word developed a sharply different meaning, namely, ”a sudden radical, or complete change,” apparently from the idea of reversal of direction implicit in the Latin verb. Revolt , which initially meant “to renounce allegiance,” grew from the same idea of “rolling back,” in this case from a prior bond of loyalty.

Choose the Right Synonym for revolt

rebellion, revolution, uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny mean an outbreak against authority.

rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful.

open rebellion against the officers

revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government).

a political revolution that toppled the monarchy

uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion.

quickly put down the uprising

revolt and insurrection imply an armed uprising that quickly fails or succeeds.

a revolt by the Young Turks that surprised party leaders
an insurrection of oppressed laborers

mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority.

a mutiny led by the ship's cook

Examples of revolt in a Sentence

Verb The group threatened to revolt. All the violence revolted me. Noun the revolt of the slaves The peasants' revolt was crushed by the king. The leader of the group called for revolt. Consumers are in revolt against high prices.
Recent Examples on the Web
Last year, users of the A.I. companionship app Replika revolted after the company changed the software in a way that made A.I. companions suddenly start rejecting their humans’ overtures. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 9 May 2024 But at that point, Drake hadn’t garnered so much ill will with his actions, and Budden didn’t have the popularity to get the masses to veritably revolt. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 6 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for revolt 

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

Word History



borrowed from Middle French revolter, as reflexive se revolter "to turn about, change sides, turn away (from a belief, adherence), rebel," borrowed from Italian revoltare, revottare (later rivoltare) "to turn over, turn inside out, cause to rebel, disgust," from re- re- + voltare "to turn," going back to Vulgar Latin *volvitāre, iterative of Latin volvere "to set in a circular course, cause to roll, bring round" — more at wallow entry 1


borrowed from Middle French revolte, noun derivative of revolter, as reflexive se revolter "to turn about, change sides, turn away (from a belief, adherence), rebel" — more at revolt entry 1

First Known Use


1539, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of revolt was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near revolt

Cite this Entry

“Revolt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
re·​volt ri-ˈvōlt How to pronounce revolt (audio)
: to rise up against the authority of a ruler or government
: to feel or cause to feel disgust or shock
revolter noun


2 of 2 noun
: an act or instance of revolting
: an open and often violent rising up against authority

More from Merriam-Webster on revolt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!