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

Definition of revolt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to renounce allegiance or subjection (as to a government) : rebel
2a : to experience disgust or shock
b : to turn away with disgust

transitive verb

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



Definition of revolt (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from revolt


revolter noun

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

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.

Examples of revolt in a Sentence


The group threatened to revolt. All the violence revolted me.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

New York is not the only place where Asian-Americans are revolting against racial preferences as a tool to help minorities. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "An Asian-American Awakening," 11 June 2018 Users revolted in what became known as the Great Blackout. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Book tells the inside story of how Reddit came to be the Internet’s “id”," 30 Dec. 2018 Inside, some of the more hard-line members urged a showdown over border wall funding, arguing that Trump’s core supporters would revolt otherwise. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Inside Trump’s defiance on the longest shutdown ever," 13 Jan. 2019 In the past, this has given some members the power to revolt and even hold parts of the site hostage. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Reddit employee saved Gamergate forum KotakuInAction after its creator tried to destroy it," 13 July 2018 Others might try to leverage the government’s weakness and violently revolt against it. Alex Ward, Vox, "Everyone warns of China’s rise. But its decline could be even worse.," 12 Dec. 2018 Voters recoiled from the policy, revolted by vivid pictures of children kept in pens made of chain-link fence and audio of toddlers wailing for their parents. Chris Brennan,, "Lou Barletta rolls with Trump, as president shifts policy at border," 25 June 2018 In areas controlled by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), an alliance of left-wing guerrilla groups that revolted against the government, women were free to have abortions. Juan Carlos, Marie Claire, "This Is What a World Without Reproductive Rights Would Be Like," 25 Apr. 2016 If previous Anahata revolutions were any indication, the incendiary results would incite unrest elsewhere in the country, eventually leading to revolt and a total collapse of the government. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gayoom finally introduced democratic reforms in 2008 after a public revolt and the burning down of police stations and government vehicles over the killing of a man in government custody. Krishan Francis, Fox News, "Maldives prepares for polls seen as test for young democracy," 21 Sep. 2018 Pichai’s new guidelines came amid an internal revolt over Google’s involvement in Project Maven—a Defense Department initiative wherein Google’s A.I. was used to help improve the accuracy of drone strikes. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Google Tries Being Slightly Less Evil," 8 June 2018 After an unsuccessful revolt against the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, fled the capital Lhasa in secret. Sugam Pokharel, CNN, "Dalai Lama caught in the middle as India and China reboot ties," 30 Mar. 2018 Google faced a revolt by employees over an Artificial Intelligence program to help drones spot targets for the Pentagon, and decided not to continue with the work. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "Why the U.S. Is Backing Killer Robots," 14 Sep. 2018 After a revolt from fans, the team’s legendary organist, Nancy Bea, was brought back into the fold, continuing a career that initially began in 1987 and went uninterrupted until about five years ago. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "Dodgers Organist Dieter Ruehle Tells the Story Behind His Dream Job," 7 June 2018 Many activists and intellectuals associated with the 2011 revolt are in prison or exile. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Eight Years After Egypt’s Uprising, a New Autocrat Is Determined Not to Permit a Sequel," 25 Jan. 2019 As unemployment rises, household income would fall — two key triggers that contributed to public fury and revolts in other Arab countries nearly eight years ago. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Saudi prince’s future put to the test at investment forum," 22 Oct. 2018 The Colorado news outlet is in full revolt mode after frustrated journalists publicly blasted the newspaper’s hedge fund owner. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Ex-Denver Post Journalists Launch New Media Venture on the Blockchain," 18 June 2018

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


1539, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for revolt


Middle French revolter, from Old Italian rivoltare to overthrow, from Vulgar Latin *revolvitare, frequentative of Latin revolvere to revolve, roll back

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Statistics for revolt

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for revolt

The first known use of revolt was in 1539

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More Definitions for revolt



English Language Learners Definition of revolt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fight in a violent way against the rule of a leader or government
: to act in a way that shows that you do not accept the control or influence of someone or something
: to cause (someone) to feel disgust or shock



English Language Learners Definition of revolt (Entry 2 of 2)

: violent action against a ruler or government
: something which shows that you will not accept something or will not agree to be controlled or influenced by someone or something


re·​volt | \ ri-ˈvōlt How to pronounce revolt (audio) \
revolted; revolting

Kids Definition of revolt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to rebel against a ruler or government
2 : to be or cause to be disgusted or shocked I was revolted by the smell.



Kids Definition of revolt (Entry 2 of 2)

: violent action against a ruler or government : rebellion

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More from Merriam-Webster on revolt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with revolt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for revolt

Spanish Central: Translation of revolt

Nglish: Translation of revolt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of revolt for Arabic Speakers

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