revolution

1
as in rotation
a rapid turning about on an axis or central point revved the engine to 3000 revolutions per minute

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2
as in revolt
open fighting against authority (as one's own government) the revolution by which the American colonies gained their independence from Great Britain necessitated going up against the world's most powerful army

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How does the noun revolution differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of revolution are insurrection, mutiny, rebellion, revolt, and uprising. While all these words mean "an outbreak against authority," revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government).

a political revolution that toppled the monarchy

When is mutiny a more appropriate choice than revolution?

Although the words mutiny and revolution have much in common, mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority.

a mutiny led by the ship's cook

When would rebellion be a good substitute for revolution?

The meanings of rebellion and revolution largely overlap; however, rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful.

open rebellion against the officers

How are the words revolt and insurrection related as synonyms of revolution?

Both 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

When could uprising be used to replace revolution?

The words uprising and revolution are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion.

quickly put down the uprising

Thesaurus Entries Near revolution

Cite this Entry

“Revolution.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/revolution. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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