AskDefine | Define rebellion

Dictionary Definition



1 refusal to accept some authority or code or convention; "each generation must have its own rebellion"; "his body was in rebellion against fatigue"
2 organized opposition to authority; a conflict in which one faction tries to wrest control from another [syn: insurrection, revolt, rising, uprising]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Rebellion



  • /rɪˈbeliən/


  1. Armed resistance to an established government or ruler.
  2. Defiance of authority or control.


armed resistance
  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 叛亂, 叛乱 (pànluàn)
  • Czech: povstání
  • Dutch: oproer, opstand , rebellie
  • Finnish: kapina, (aseellinen) vastarinta
  • French: rébellion
  • German: Rebellion
  • Italian: ribellione
  • Japanese: 反乱, むほん, 蜂起
  • Korean: 발란 (ballan)
  • Latin: rebellio
  • Portuguese: rebelião
  • Russian: восстание, мятеж, бунт
  • Serbian: ustanak , buna
  • Spanish: rebelión
  • Swedish: uppror

Extensive Definition

For other uses, see Rebel (disambiguation) and Rebellion (disambiguation).
Rebellion is a refusal of obedience.It may therefore be seen as encompassing a range of behaviours from civil disobedience and mass nonviolent resistance, to violent and organized attempts to destroy an established authority such as the government. Those who participate in rebellions are known as "rebels".
Throughout history, many different groups that opposed their governments have been called rebels. In the United States, the term was used for the Continentals by the British in the Revolutionary War, and the Confederacy by the Union in the American Civil War. It also includes members of paramilitary forces who take up arms against an established government.
Most unarmed rebellions have not been against authority in general, but rather have sought to establish a new government in their place. For example, the Boxer Rebellion sought to implement a stronger government in China in place of the weak and divided government of the time. The Jacobite Risings (called "Jacobite Rebellions" by the government) attempted to restore the deposed Stuart kings to the thrones of England and Scotland, rather than abolish the monarchy completely.

Types of rebellion

A violent rebellion is sometimes referred to as an insurgency, while a larger conflict may escalate into a civil war. There are a number of terms that fall under the umbrella of rebel, and they range from those with positive connotations to those with pejorative connotations. Examples include:
  • Nonviolent resistance or civil disobedience, which do not include violence or paramilitary force
  • Resistance movement, which is carried out by freedom fighters, often against an occupying foreign power
  • Revolution, which is carried out by radicals, usually meant to overthrow the current government
  • Uprising, which is carried out by militants
  • Revolt, a term that is sometimes used for a more localized rebellions rather than a general uprising
  • Mutiny, which is carried out by military or security forces against their commanders
  • Subversion, which are non-overt attempts at sabotaging a government, carried out by spies or other subversives
  • Terrorism, which is carried out by different kinds of political or religious extremists
rebellion in Aymara: Sayt'awi
rebellion in Czech: Rebelie
rebellion in German: Aufstand
rebellion in Spanish: Rebelión
rebellion in Esperanto: Ribelo
rebellion in French: Révolte
rebellion in Indonesian: Pemberontakan
rebellion in Icelandic: Uppreisn
rebellion in Italian: Rivolta
rebellion in Dutch: Opstand
rebellion in Norwegian: Opprør
rebellion in Polish: Rebeliant
rebellion in Portuguese: Rebelião
rebellion in Russian: Восстание
rebellion in Simple English: Rebellion
rebellion in Finnish: Kapina
rebellion in Swedish: Uppror
rebellion in Chinese: 武装起事

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, anarchy, antinomianism, chaos, civil disorder, confusion, contumacy, criminal syndicalism, defiance, disobedience, disorder, disorderliness, disorganization, disruption, emeute, general uprising, insubordination, insurgence, insurgency, insurrection, jacquerie, levee en masse, lynch law, misrule, mob law, mob rule, mobocracy, mutiny, nihilism, ochlocracy, outbreak, peasant revolt, primal chaos, putsch, rebelliousness, resistance, revolt, revolution, riot, rising, syndicalism, tohubohu, turmoil, unruliness, uprising
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