Definition of rebel in English:


Syllabification: reb·el


Pronunciation: /ˈrebəl
  • 1A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler: Tory rebels [as modifier]: rebel forces
    More example sentences
    • This date marks the 200th Anniversary to the very day when the rebel leader ended his resistance and walked through the gates of Humewood and into captivity.
    • Forked story paths in the beginning allow you to choose between siding with the armed rebels in resistance or the Soviets in appeasement.
    • However, during the truce, the party's militia would respond with force in the event it came under attack from government security forces, the rebel leader said.
  • 1.1A person who resists authority, control, or convention.
    More example sentences
    • Power is hierarchical; the rebel challenges authority, presumes to be the defiant equal of his creator or of his king, and is convinced that his stubbornness will redeem him.
    • The idea that children are natural rebels who reject convention and prefer a state of anarchy is bunk.
    • Jude is a tour de force, a refashioned version of the Jewish mother as a bohemian, a rebel against convention who critiques mainstream culture.
    nonconformist, dissenter, dissident, iconoclast, maverick
    informal bad boy


(rebel /riˈbel/) (rebels, rebelling, rebelled) [no object] Back to top  
  • 1Rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or ruler: the Earl of Pembroke subsequently rebelled against Henry III
    More example sentences
    • It has also created the foundation behind which Hanson has been able to create a following that rebelled against the established ‘royal chamber and its courtiers’.
    • Ancient traditions regarding this apostate leader show that he rebelled against God, and in so doing, created a worldwide apostasy.
    • Three Congress leaders rebelled and Sonia resigned as party president.
    revolt, mutiny, riot, rise up, take up arms, stage/mount a rebellion, be insubordinate
  • 1.1(Of a person) resist authority, control, or convention: respect did not prevent children from rebelling against their parents
    More example sentences
    • You function best in a position of control and may rebel against power or authority or domination at work.
    • However, studying the general population of adolescents revealed that many do not rebel against authority but maintain good relationships with parents and teachers throughout.
    • You function best in a position of control and rebel against domination by people in power or authority.
    defy, disobey, refuse to obey, kick against, challenge, oppose, resist
  • 1.2Show or feel repugnance for or resistance to something: as I came over the hill my legs rebelled—I could walk no further
    More example sentences
    • The mind rebels at the attempt: one child randomly slain on the threshold of adulthood, the other burdened for life with the guilt of Cain.
    • And I found that I hated having a numb mind and I was rebelling against that and writing.
    • It is a language which invites the mind to rebel against itself causing inflamed ideas grotesque postures and a theoretical approach to common body functions.
    recoil, show/feel repugnance


Middle English: from Old French rebelle (noun), rebeller (verb), from Latin rebellis (used originally with reference to a fresh declaration of war by the defeated), based on bellum 'war'.

More definitions of rebel

Definition of rebel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody