mu·​ti·​ny | \ ˈmyü-tə-nē How to pronounce mutiny (audio) , ˈmyüt-nē \
plural mutinies

Definition of mutiny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : forcible or passive resistance to lawful authority especially : concerted (see concerted sense 1) revolt (as of a naval crew) against discipline or a superior officer The sailors staged a mutiny and took control of the ship.
2 obsolete : tumult, strife


mutinied; mutinying; mutinies

Definition of mutiny (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to rise against or refuse to obey or observe authority He mutinied not just against God but against the older generation of Romanian intellectuals.— Will Blythe specifically, of soldiers, sailors, etc. : to rebel against military authority : to stage a mutiny Months wore on, and about half of [Christopher] Columbus's men mutinied and tried to sail by canoe to Hispaniola. — Owen Gingerich In April 1779 a draft of sixty men from the 71st Highlanders mutinied when they were told they were to go to America and refused to march aboard the transports. — Christopher Hibbert

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for mutiny


rebellion, revolution, uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny mean an outbreak against authority. rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful. open rebellion against the officers revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government). a political revolution that toppled the monarchy uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion. quickly put down the uprising 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 mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority. a mutiny led by the ship's cook

Examples of mutiny in a Sentence

Noun The mutiny was led by the ship's cook. The sailors staged a mutiny and took control of the ship.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Natasha, who had been exploring a genuine relationship with Brendan, was blindsided by this revelation; Brendan and Pieper have since left the beach together to avoid a mutiny, while Natasha is now a folk hero. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 18 Sep. 2021 And the status quo has become sufficiently frustrating that a few new senators have considered a radical option: mutiny. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Her first voyage from England to India included a collision and a mutiny. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 Lightfoot would risk a serious backlash from Chicagoans who are just getting back to some semblance of normalcy, and could face a mutiny from business owners who were starved for customers for over a year before the city reopened. John Byrne,, 20 July 2021 There is a mutiny that takes place in space, but mostly there is a father and daughter who are the same age, a dead woman who comes back to life, and a Punch Rockgroin. Courtney Enlow, Vulture, 3 June 2021 If the Packers don't get Aaron Rodgers a first-round receiver, there should be a mutiny. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2021 More than 100 Black soldiers were charged with crimes including murder, mutiny and aggravated assault in connection with the deadly race riot, and 19 of the soldiers were eventually executed. Dallas News, 20 July 2021 In the late 1990s, he was convicted of sedition and mutiny in connection with the coup and the killings in Gwangju. New York Times, 18 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutiny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mutiny


1540, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mutiny


mutine to rebel, from Middle French (se) mutiner, from mutin mutinous, from meute revolt, from Vulgar Latin *movita, from feminine of movitus, alteration of Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About mutiny

Dictionary Entries Near mutiny




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mutiny

Last Updated

28 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mutiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mutiny



English Language Learners Definition of mutiny

: a situation in which a group of people (such as sailors or soldiers) refuse to obey orders and try to take control away from the person who commands them


mu·​ti·​ny | \ ˈmyü-tə-nē How to pronounce mutiny (audio) \
plural mutinies

Kids Definition of mutiny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a turning of a group (as of sailors) against a person in charge
2 : refusal to obey those in charge


mutinied; mutinying

Kids Definition of mutiny (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to take control away from a person in charge The sailors were preparing to mutiny.

More from Merriam-Webster on mutiny

Nglish: Translation of mutiny for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mutiny


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!