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

  • intransitive v. To refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority.
  • intransitive v. To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.
  • intransitive v. To feel or express strong unwillingness or repugnance: She rebelled at the unwelcome suggestion.
  • n. One who rebels or is in rebellion: "He is the perfect recruit for fascist movements: a rebel not a revolutionary, contemptuous yet envious of the rich and involved with them” ( Stanley Hoffman).
  • n. A Confederate soldier.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who resists an established authority, often violently.
  • v. To resist or become defiant toward an authority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to rebels or rebellion; acting in revolt; rebellious.
  • n. One who rebels.
  • intransitive v. To renounce, and resist by force, the authority of the ruler or government to which one owes obedience. See rebellion.
  • intransitive v. To be disobedient to authority; to assume a hostile or insubordinate attitude; to revolt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Resisting authority or law; rebellious.
  • Of a rebellious nature or character; characteristic of a rebel.
  • n. A person who makes war upon the government of his country from political motives; one of a body of persons organized for a change of government or of laws by force of arms, or by open defiance.
  • n. Hence One who or that which resists authority or law; one who refuses obedience to a superior, or who revolts against some controlling power or principle.
  • n. Synonyms Traitor, etc. See insurgent, n.
  • To make war against one's government, or against anything deemed oppressive, by arms or other means; revolt by active resistance or repulsion.

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

  • n. a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
  • v. break with established customs
  • n. someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
  • n. `Johnny' was applied as a nickname for Confederate soldiers by the Federal soldiers in the American Civil War; `greyback' derived from their grey Confederate uniforms
  • v. take part in a rebellion; renounce a former allegiance


Middle English rebellen, from Old French rebeller, from Latin rebellāre : re-, re- + bellāre, to make war (from bellum, war). N., Middle English, rebellious, rebel, from Old French rebelle, from Latin rebellis, from rebellāre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French rebelle, from Latin rebellis ("waging war again; insurgent"), from rebellō ("I wage war again, fight back"), from re- ("again, back") + bellō ("I wage war"). (Wiktionary)
From Old French rebeller, from Latin rebellō ("I wage war again, fight back"), from re- ("again, back") + bellō ("I wage war"). (Wiktionary)



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