American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress or liberalism; extremely conservative.
- n. An opponent of progress or liberalism; an extreme conservative.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to reaction in general; consisting of or characterized by reflex or reciprocal action; reactive.
- Specifically Of or pertaining to political reaction; favoring reaction: as, reactionary principles or movements.
- n. A promoter of reaction; specifically, one who attempts to check, undo, or reverse political action.
- adj. Opposed to change; urging a return to a previous state.
- adj. Very conservative.
- n. One who is opposed to change.
- n. One who is very conservative.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Being, causing, or favoring reaction.
- n. One who favors reaction, or seeks to undo political progress or revolution.
- adj. extremely conservative
- n. an extreme conservative; an opponent of progress or liberalism
- From French réactionnaire. Used in the time of the French revolution to refer to a person opposing the revolution; as in a person favoring a reaction to the revolution. First known usage in English in a translation of Lazare Carnot's letter on the Conspiracy of the 18th Fructidor published in London, 1799. (Wiktionary)
“Consequently, I believe the term reactionary NOW applies in its strictest sense to prog-wacks.”
“So if a reactionary is a believer in order, a progressive is — a believer in disorder?”
“I've been much criticized of late," laments the senator over a lavish dinner with lobbyists, "by irresponsible people of course, for what they term my reactionary association with big business.”
““They throw around the term reactionary so lightly.”
“Being reactionary is disprefered in so far as moralistic reaction short-circuits ethical critique (see “The Absence of the Abject” post).”
“The men who wrote it knew all too well what the unlimited reach of a monarch could do, and they knew all too well what it was like to live in reactionary times; the American Revolution was still a vivid and recent memory at the time it was crafted.”
“It doesn't matter though; she'll forever be in reactionary mode based upon her own poor judgment.”
“Many of the Americans who sought solace for their frustration and fear in reactionary political movements were drawn from the old lower-middle classes, "men and women clinging precariously to hard-won middle-class lifestyles; people with valued but imperiled stakes in their local communities.”
“Ahad Ha'amoratzim: you call reactionary, ranting 'asking'?”
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A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
words for those who commit particular crimes: i.e., bank robber, arsonist, etc.
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Words and phrases George Orwell criticizes in his essay 'Politics and the English Language'.
ring the changes on, take up the cudge..., toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to..., play into the han..., no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubl..., on the order of t..., Achilles’ heel, swan song and 162 more...
From a book about life and death.
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Hopefully, I'll be using this site for more than one year. It will be fun then to look back and see what new words I found worthy of notice in any given year.
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