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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of revolutionary in a Sentence

Adjective 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 Noun 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 The revolutionary invention came from Dr. Robert Hubbard, a professor at Michigan State University, and his brother-in-law and former racer, Jim Downing. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "A NASCAR driver survived a horrifying crash. Here are the safety measures that may have helped," 18 Feb. 2020 The sketches show how Rivera, a member of the Communist party, almost imperceptibly yet radically altered his proposal, by slyly adding a portrait of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin to the right of the central figure. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "America’s most controversial office-lobby mural has been resurrected," 14 Feb. 2020 The Vermont revolutionary’s victory portends a long primary battle, unless Democratic voters elevate a single mainstream candidate who can challenge him. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Agony of the Democrats," 14 Feb. 2020 One question remains: why did the resilient Mau Mau freedom fighters fail to maintain revolutionary action after independence? Anaïs Angelo Chercheuse, Quartz Africa, "Why Kenya’s pre-independence rebel fighters Mau Mau gave up their fight," 13 Feb. 2020 But this tinkering with civil suits was fairly minor when compared with the revolutionary decision to criminalize Seduction. Clement Knox, Time, "When U.S. Laws Punished Men for 'Seduction,' Women Were the Ones Who Got Judged," 4 Feb. 2020 In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union., "This day in history," 30 Jan. 2020 Perhaps the most revolutionary thing about it is how little being fat comes up. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "On Shrill Season 2, Weight Is Barely a Topic—And That’s a Good Thing," 24 Jan. 2020 These women are finding fulfillment through a pact that feels both revolutionary and like a total no-brainer. Sarah Treleaven, Marie Claire, "They're Single. They're Straight. They're Friends. And They're Having a Baby.," 22 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the women’s movement revolutionized homes and workplaces in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Johanna’s strong, feminist heroines were revolutionaries in their own right — fighting for partnership, respect, and happily ever after. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Johanna Lindsey, prolific romance novelist, dies at 67," 23 Dec. 2019 Bunting, starched and perfectly ruffled in red-white-and-blue fans, hung everywhere—from air conditioners, from gutters, from statues of dead revolutionaries. Jeff Sharlet, Harpers Magazine, "February 2020," 20 Jan. 2020 As a matter of fact, the French revolutionaries did not follow Manette’s example. Jaithirth Rao, Quartz India, "Can Hindu conservatives make room for reform in religion?," 4 Nov. 2019 The revolutionaries overthrew everything: the monarchy, the church, the nobility, property rights and most of the other things that had held the French people together for centuries. Steele Brand, Twin Cities, "Steele Brand: Why knowing Roman history is key to preserving America’s future," 19 Sep. 2019 For many, Imelda will forever be known as the ostentatious dictator’s wife whose dressing room—when it was overrun by revolutionaries in 1986—was found to contain 1,200 pairs of shoes. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Imelda Marcos, the Wife of a Filipino Dictator, Became an Icon of ’80s Excess," 4 Nov. 2019 Days 1-4: Dublin On the streets of Dublin, revolutionaries once rose up to end 500 years of British rule, and impassioned writers penned works that would become classics. National Geographic, "Ireland Expedition: Discovering the Emerald Isle," 30 Sep. 2019 How Mr Cummings made it to the heart of the Conservative Party is a far more intriguing question than how his fellow revolutionary made it to Labour’s. The Economist, "Cummings and Milne, rival advisers bent on disrupting British politics," 29 Sep. 2019 Since 2002, the Red Door is where Salt Lake City’s savvy proletariats and up-and-coming revolutionaries gather to chat about economics and world affairs over sophisticated cocktails. James Charisma, Los Angeles Times, "A guide to Salt Lake City’s burgeoning bar scene," 3 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for revolutionary

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The first known use of revolutionary was in 1718

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Statistics for revolutionary

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Revolutionary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for revolutionary


How to pronounce revolutionary (audio)

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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