Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A radical or extreme leftist.
  • n. A radical republican during the French Revolution.
  • n. A Dominican friar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Dominican friar.
  • n. A member of a radical French political club founded (at an old Jacobin convent) in 1789 and one of the driving forces of the French Revolution.
  • n. By extension, a political radical.
  • n. A breed of domestic pigeon (known for its feathered hood over its head).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Same as jacobinic.
  • n. A Dominican friar; -- so named because, before the French Revolution, that order had a convent in the Rue St. Jacques, Paris.
  • n. One of a society of violent agitators in France, during the revolution of 1789, who held secret meetings in the Jacobin convent in the Rue St. Jacques, Paris, and concerted measures to control the proceedings of the National Assembly. Hence: A plotter against an existing government; a turbulent demagogue.
  • n. A fancy pigeon, in which the feathers of the neck form a hood, -- whence the name. The wings and tail are long, and the beak moderately short.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In France, a black or Dominican friar: so called from the church of St. Jacques (Jacobus), in which they were first established in Paris. See Dominican.
  • n. A member of a club or society of French revolutionists organized in 1789 under the name of Society of Friends of the Constitution, and called Jacobins from the Jacobin convent in Paris in which they met.
  • n. Hence A violently radical politician; one who favors extreme measures in behalf of popular government; a radical democrat: formerly much used, often inappropriately, as a term of reproach in English and American polities.
  • n. [lowercase] An artificial variety of tho domestic pigeon, whose neck-feathers form a hood.
  • n. [I. c.] In ornithology, a humming-bird of the genus Heliothrix, as H. auritus.
  • Same as Jacobinic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of the radical movement that instituted the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution

Etymologies

Middle English, Dominican friar, from French, from Old French (frere) jacobin (translation of Medieval Latin (frāter) Iacōbīnus, Jacobinic brother, from Iacōbus, James, after the church of Saint Jacques in Paris, near which the friars built their first convent). Sense 2, from the fact that the Jacobins first met in the convent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French Jacobin, ultimately from Latin Jacōbus ("Jacob"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Convention were proscribed as regicides, when the word Jacobin sent a thrill of horror down every respectable spinal chord, the daughter of

    The French Revolution A Short History

  • That the other party, which demands great changes here, and is so pleased to see them everywhere else, which party I call Jacobin, that this faction does, from the bottom of its heart, approve the Declaration, and does erect its crest upon the engagement, there can be little doubt.

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 05 (of 12)

  • Constitution, commonly known as the Jacobin Club because of its meetings at a former convent whose Dominican inhabitants had been known in Paris as Jacobins.

    Annotations

  • (SR.)] [Footnote 6384: To facilitate his or her comprehension the reader might replace the word Jacobin with the expression Socialist, Marxist, national-socialist or Communist since they are all heirs to the heritage left by the French Revolutionaries.

    The Modern Regime, Volume 2

  • In addition to that, Constant's lecture of 1819 reflected more recent experiences, namely the Jacobin lesson and Sismondi's work, as Biancamaria Fontana properly pointed out in her edition of Constant's Political Writings (Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 15 – 21).

    'Economic Sentiments'

  • At the same time, he was active in politics, in the “Second Left,” which rejected Marxist dogmas of the traditional so-called Jacobin left and was critical of statism and bureaucracy.

    THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS

  • Left, which rejected Marxist dogmas of the traditional so-called Jacobin

    The Commanding Heights

  • In its name Jacobin guillotines and Bolshevik execution squads never ceased their gruesome work.

    Letter from the Gdansk Prison

  • One might as well look to find a sane man ready to do battle for the Jacobin, which is all but a convertible term for

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 18, April, 1859

  • In the eyes of the average Englishman a Jacobin was a monster to be shot at sight and Napoleon was the Chief Devil.

    The Story of Mankind

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • a member of the radical movement that instituted the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution

    June 10, 2009