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 Pierre Samuel du Pont IV, known as Pete, was the great-great-great grandson of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, who came ashore with his father, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, a Huguenot royalist refugee from revolutionary France, on Jan. 1, 1800. New York Times, "Pete du Pont, Ex-Delaware Governor Who Ran for President, Dies at 86," 9 May 2021 Rightly or wrongly, many people at the time were anticipating a product that would be as revolutionary as the iPhone and iPod that came before it. Mike Wehner, BGR, "6 cool Apple Watch features you probably didn’t know existed," 21 Apr. 2021 Most of this felt revolutionary at the time but was fairly slow going and basic in all its forms. Sylvia Jablonski, Forbes, "The Next Generation Of Communication: How 5G Will Impact Our Businesses And Our Lives," 19 Apr. 2021 An emblem of independence and femininity, style and comfort, the wrap dress was revolutionary for the culture. Claire Stern, Glamour, "Everyone Loves DVF," 9 Mar. 2021 Doing so at such a pivotal moment in history felt revolutionary. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, "Why are so many turning to Black herbalists? Their remedies are tailor-made for 2020," 4 Dec. 2020 The interior design featured the trademark shag wall-to-wall carpets and garish bright colors sufficient to make your eyeballs bleed, and its vintage technology is a reminder of just how revolutionary the last 50 years have been. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "What we’re binging: TV, films, and streams that bring comfort in a weird year," 26 Nov. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to some commentators, President Joe Biden is turning out to be a quiet revolutionary. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Biden’s Great Economic Rebalancing," 3 May 2021 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

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

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Revolutionary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 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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