revolutionary

1 of 2

adjective

rev·​o·​lu·​tion·​ary ˌre-və-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce revolutionary (audio)
1
a
: 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
revolutionarily adverb
revolutionariness noun

revolutionary

2 of 2

noun

plural revolutionaries
1
: one engaged in a revolution
2
: an advocate or adherent of revolutionary doctrines

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
How revolutionary or not is that within the current Australian industry landscape? Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Oct. 2022 Kuo also believes the headset has the potential to be as revolutionary as the iPhone. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 14 Oct. 2022 Though the celebrity as host formula is hardly revolutionary — since Rosie O’Donnell, A-listers have tried and failed to launch shows based on their Q scores (hello, Tony Danza, Kris Jenner and Queen Latifah) — branding is now important. Helena Andrews-dyer, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2022 The revolutionary, politician, and diplomat ran a tough bargain for an armistice, signing the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 7 Oct. 2022 In Iran, sharing a meal can be a revolutionary act. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2022 And that revolutionary act is not carrying a weapon. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2022 Knowing that one’s fellow sisters view you as inferior and still deciding to take these sacred vows is a revolutionary act. Veronica Wells, Essence, 23 Sep. 2022 Jeffries is best known for his significant role in crafting the revolutionary Music Modernization Act, which helped update American copyright laws with the new world of music streaming. Ahmad Davis, Billboard, 15 Sep. 2022
Noun
There are 11 other memorials to Hungary’s uprising around the U.S., but Atlanta’s new statue is the first to depict a female revolutionary. Drew Kann, ajc, 23 Oct. 2022 Born in Beijing in 1953, Xi enjoyed a privileged youth as the second son of Xi Zhongxun, a Chinese communist revolutionary. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 18 Oct. 2022 What most beguiles us today is the sense that a proud revolutionary lurked beneath the winsome savage, the snowy smile. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 Annie Mae was a mother, teacher and revolutionary who fought for Indigenous rights and whose death in the 1970s went unsolved for almost 30 years. Selome Hailu, Variety, 4 Aug. 2022 Gibbons was famous for having traveled with Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary hunted by the U.S. Army, in 1915. Chicago Tribune, 26 June 2022 Though less a revolutionary than Mao, Xi rules with a similarly firm grip on power. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Although comparisons between Xi and Mao are inevitable, China’s leader today resembles, in many respects, more of an imperial emperor than a Marxist revolutionary. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2022 To understand why the new president hoped to channel Adams’ spirit is to discover not only where a daring revolutionary came from but where a revolution did. Stacy Schiff, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

revolution + -ary entry 2

Noun

revolution + -ary entry 1, after French révolutionnaire

First Known Use

Adjective

1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of revolutionary was in 1718

Dictionary Entries Near revolutionary

Cite this Entry

“Revolutionary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/revolutionary. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

revolutionary

adjective

rev·​o·​lu·​tion·​ary
ˌrev-ə-ˈlü-shə-ˌner-ē
1
a
: of, relating to, or involving a revolution
revolutionary war
b
: favoring revolution
c
: being or bringing about a big or important change
a revolutionary new product
2
capitalized : of or relating to the American Revolution
revolutionary noun

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