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 revolutionary (audio) \ adverb
revolutionariness \ ˌre-​və-​ˈlü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce revolutionary (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 Using her platform to highlight these issues was revolutionary at the time. Candace Mcduffie, Glamour, "5 Years of Lemonade," 23 Apr. 2021 Platforms that make this documentation process easier and can seamlessly integrate into existing EHR systems are revolutionary in this regard, granting physicians their most important asset in practicing medicine: time. Forbes, "Microsoft’s Acquisition Of Nuance Reaffirms Its Interest In Dominating The $11+ Trillion Healthcare Market," 20 Apr. 2021 This idea was revolutionary when Dr. Singer proposed it 70 years ago. New York Times, "Don’t Take Your Head Out of the Clouds!," 10 Apr. 2021 Creators can also continue to collect royalties as their tokens are resold, which digital artists say is revolutionary. Lydia Wang,, "What Are NFTs, & Why Are They Suddenly Everywhere?," 23 Mar. 2021 In the Xi era, a revolutionary spirit is one that submits to party authority. The Economist, "Chaguan Mao’s revolution becomes a lesson about conformity," 17 Apr. 2021 Second, bravo for Biden and others focusing on tangible, nitty-gritty — sometimes revolutionary — improvements in real people's lives. Nicholas Kristof, Star Tribune, "From Portland, a liberal's lament," 15 Apr. 2021 Moreover, space travel has roused a number of outlandish ideas for propulsion as scientists try to think as far outside the box as possible in order to shake loose new and revolutionary concepts. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Just Killed the EmDrive," 31 Mar. 2021 The Longhorns didn’t do anything fancy or revolutionary to hold Maryland to a season-low scoring performance on 40 percent shooting with just five 3s. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas has ignored the skeptics on its way to the Elite Eight," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The other four winners for 2021 were: Higher 15, by Ameha Molla and Rajal Pitroda, a feature film about a former Ethiopian revolutionary who becomes the lead witness in an FBI investigation against his murderous prison guard. Toni Fitzgerald, Forbes, "Meet The Black Filmmakers Who Won At The PitchBLACK Forum," 28 Apr. 2021 The amphibious assault on Cuba’s southern coast, which started 60 years ago on April 17, 1961, as an attempt to depose the leftist revolutionary, was a fiasco, one of the greatest humiliations for the United States. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Florida Resort That Played an Unlikely Role in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco," 16 Apr. 2021 To overthrow the bourgeois state, the revolutionary had to undermine bourgeois cultural hegemony. Mackubin Owens, Washington Examiner, "War goes woke," 1 Apr. 2021 By then, the F.S.M. had attracted members of the faculty and a range of students, from the conservative Mona Hutchin, of the Young Republicans, to the communist revolutionary Bob Avakian. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "The Making of the New Left," 15 Mar. 2021 In Maoist times, Monkey has even been proclaimed a Marxist revolutionary, intent on overturning the oppressive imperial order. Washington Post, "The action-packed saga ‘Monkey King: Journey to the West’ gets a modern take," 3 Mar. 2021 If past is prologue, that person is likely to be another revolutionary. Joe Nocera Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Biden puts antitrust revolution into practice," 10 Mar. 2021 Peach Blossom Paradise is a family saga with the heft of an epic that follows the life of a young woman who meets a revolutionary as the Qing dynasty collapses. James Mcelroy, Washington Examiner, "A Chinese guide to our cultural revolution," 31 Dec. 2020 Not the first revolutionary to become a drug capitalist — and not the last. New York Times, "His Debut Novel Won the Pulitzer. Now It Has an Action-Packed Sequel.," 26 Feb. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of revolutionary was in 1718

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Statistics for revolutionary

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Revolutionary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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