Definition of rebel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛb(ə)l/
1A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or leader: 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.
revolutionary, insurgent, revolutionist, mutineer, agitator, subversive, guerrilla, anarchist, terrorist;
freedom fighter, resistance fighter;
traitor, renegade
in Mexico , historical Zapatista
in South America , historical Montonero
rare insurrectionist, insurrectionary
insurgent, revolutionary, mutinous, rebellious, mutinying;
traitorous, renegade
rare insurrectionary, insurrectionist
1.1A person who resists authority, control, or convention.
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;
heretic, recusant, apostate, schismatic
informal bad boy

verb (rebels, rebelling, rebelled)

Pronunciation: /rɪˈbɛl/
[no object]
1Rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or leader: 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, rise up in arms, take up arms, stage/mount a rebellion, take to the streets, defy the authorities, refuse to obey orders, be insubordinate
1.1Resist 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, flout, kick against, challenge, oppose, resist, be at odds with, refuse to accept the authority of, repudiate;
fly in the face of, kick over the traces
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;
shrink (from), flinch (from), shy away (from), pull back (from)


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'.

  • The Latin word rebellis was originally used in reference to someone making a fresh declaration of war after being defeated. The root was bellum ‘war’, as in bellicose (Late Middle English) or ‘warlike’, combined with re- ‘again’. A person who is deeply dissatisfied by society in general but does not have a specific aim to fight for might be described as a rebel without a cause. The first such person was James Dean, star of the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. Revel (Late Middle English) comes from the French equivalent, which developed the sense ‘to make a noise’ from the basic sense ‘to rise in rebellion’.

Words that rhyme with rebel

Adele, Aix-la-Chapelle, aquarelle, artel, au naturel, bagatelle, béchamel, befell, bell, belle, boatel, Brunel, Cadell, carousel, cartel, cell, Chanel, chanterelle, clientele, Clonmel, compel, Cornell, crime passionnel, dell, demoiselle, dispel, dwell, el, ell, Estelle, excel, expel, farewell, fell, Fidel, fontanelle, foretell, Gabrielle, gazelle, gel, Giselle, hell, hotel, impel, knell, lapel, mademoiselle, maître d'hôtel, Manuel, marcel, matériel, mesdemoiselles, Michel, Michelle, Miguel, misspell, morel, moschatel, Moselle, motel, muscatel, nacelle, Nell, Nobel, Noel, organelle, outsell, Parnell, pell-mell, personnel, propel, quell, quenelle, rappel, Raquel, Ravel, repel, Rochelle, Sahel, sardelle, sell, shell, show-and-tell, smell, Snell, spell, spinel, swell, tell, undersell, vielle, villanelle, well, yell pebble, treble

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