rev·​o·​lu·​tion·​ary | \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce revolutionary (audio) \

Definition of revolutionary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or constituting a revolution revolutionary war
b : tending to or promoting revolution
c : constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change a revolutionary new product
2 capitalized : of or relating to the American Revolution or to the period in which it occurred


plural revolutionaries

Definition of revolutionary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one engaged in a revolution
2 : an advocate or adherent of revolutionary doctrines

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Other Words from revolutionary


revolutionarily \ ˌre-​və-​ˌlü-​shə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce revolutionarily (audio) \ adverb
revolutionariness \ ˌre-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce revolutionariness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for revolutionary

Synonyms: Adjective

extreme, extremist, fanatic (or fanatical), rabid, radical, revolutionist, ultra

Synonyms: Noun

crazy, extremist, radical, revolutionist

Antonyms: Adjective

middle-of-the-road, nonrevolutionary, unrevolutionary

Antonyms: Noun

middle-of-the-roader, moderate

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Examples of revolutionary in a Sentence


a candidate with a lot of crazy, revolutionary ideas that no one seems to be going for revolutionary forces that were soundly defeated before reaching the capital


after the collapse of the Russian monarchy, the moderate socialists briefly governed until being overthrown by the Bolshevik revolutionaries at first the government was not worried about this small band of unarmed revolutionaries
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Six years ago, after voters tossed out state superintendent Tom Luna’s education overhaul laws, getting education leaders to the same table was a revolutionary idea. Kevin Richert, idahostatesman, "Little’s K-12 task force has two big priorities: literacy and student life after high school," 4 June 2019 But their goal—truly delicious produce—is nothing short of revolutionary. Jane Black, WSJ, "Why Your Squash Tastes Better Than It Used To," 3 Oct. 2018 When Linux arrived on the Anniversary Edition three years ago, it was considered one of the more revolutionary aspects of Windows—a surprising embrace of the open-source operating system that Microsoft had once resisted. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft debuts new Terminal app, next-gen Windows Subsystem for Linux for power users," 6 May 2019 Here’s a few must-know facts about the revolutionary choreographer (played by Sam Rockwell) ahead of tonight's premiere of Fosse/Verdon. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Was Bob Fosse? 6 Things to Know Before Watching Fosse/Verdon," 10 Apr. 2019 That's where this revolutionary float comes in to save the day. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Pool Float Is Motorized, So You Can Cruise While You Lounge," 5 Apr. 2019 Don’t miss the Centro Cultural Nestor Agundez Martinez, with its charming courtyard and 1930s revolutionary murals. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to the Baja Peninsula," 29 Mar. 2019 Today, as Ukrainians prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential election, that revolutionary fervor has dissipated into widespread disillusionment. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "The Revolution That Wasn’t: Disillusioned Ukrainians Head to Polls," 28 Mar. 2019 In my opinion, strap-on dildos are one of the most revolutionary inventions. Sophie Saint Thomas, SELF, "9 Things to Know Before You Try Strap-On Sex," 2 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hong Kong has long been a safe harbor for polarizing political figures, from Sun Yat-Sen and his revolutionaries to Vietnam’s communist leader Ho Chi Minh to American whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Laignee Barron / Hong Kong, Time, "30 Years Later, Hong Kong Still Harbors the Spirit of Tiananmen," 4 June 2019 Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa met with U.S. Gen. Hugh Scott, chief of staff of the Army, in the home in August 1915 to discuss halting violence along the border from the ongoing Mexican Revolution. Will Weissert, The Seattle Times, "The Origin Story: A blind date, a border and Beto O’Rourke," 29 Mar. 2019 The cathedral was targeted by French Huguenots in the 16th century and revolutionaries in the 18th, with each group taking out their anger at the monarchy on Notre-Dame's statues. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "President Macron Wants to See Notre-Dame Cathedral Restored in Five Years," 16 Apr. 2019 The year was 1910, and revolutionaries across Mexico were rising up to fight against elitist dictator Porfirio Díaz’s corrupt government. Teen Vogue, "Mexican Revolutionary Petra Herrera Posed as a Man to Fight for Her Country," 1 Apr. 2019 In November 1910, Mexico was plunged into a near decade-long war that pitted the federal government, run by dictator Porfirio Díaz Mori, against thousands of revolutionaries from varying factions. Teen Vogue, "The Real History of Las Soldaderas, the Women Who Made the Mexican Revolution Possible," 12 Mar. 2019 In one of the film’s early chase sequences, a young revolutionary named Hester (Hera Hilmar) is pursued through one of these smaller cities as it’s dismantled around her. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "How Weta Digital created the steampunk world of Mortal Engines," 21 Dec. 2018 These are 2018’s biggest Instagram influencers: the women of the congressional freshmen class, who are using the platform not just like millennials (which many of them are) but as revolutionaries. Bridget Read, Vogue, "2018’s Biggest Instagram Influencers Are These Congressional Freshmen Women," 21 Nov. 2018 Or maybe these women think of themselves as revolutionaries—even feminists—and have told themselves, as people have throughout history, that violence toward a greater good is acceptable. Nadia Murad, Glamour, "Nadia Murad Escaped Sexual Slavery at the Hands of ISIS. This Is Her Story.," 5 Oct. 2018

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


1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for revolutionary

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for revolutionary

The first known use of revolutionary was in 1718

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More Definitions for revolutionary



English Language Learners Definition of revolutionary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to, involving, or supporting a political revolution
: causing or relating to a great or complete change



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

: someone who leads, joins, or wants a revolution


rev·​o·​lu·​tion·​ary | \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce revolutionary (audio) \

Kids Definition of revolutionary

1 : relating to or involving rebellion against a ruler or government revolutionary leaders
2 : being or bringing about a big or important change a revolutionary invention
3 capitalized : of or relating to the American Revolution

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Comments on revolutionary

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showing courage and determination

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