Definition of revolt in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈvōlt/


1 [no object] Rise in rebellion: the insurgents revolted and had to be suppressed
More example sentences
  • He urged people to revolt against the established government and turn the revolution against the king although he preferred to remain aloof from the actual events.
  • He urged workers around the world to revolt against their rulers.
  • Five calls described the intent of passengers and surviving crew members to revolt against the hijackers.
rebel, rise up, rise, take to the streets, riot, mutiny
1.1Refuse to acknowledge someone or something as having authority: voters may revolt when they realize the cost of the measures
More example sentences
  • I was even one of those progressive Sixties kids who revolted, refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • And the dictatorship will be created by the very people who are revolting against authority.
  • Sections of the Indian military, frustrated by the past year's border deployment without action, could revolt and refuse to attack Hindus.
1.2 (as adjective revolted) archaic Having rebelled or revolted: the revolted Bretons
More example sentences
  • Quite often it is the gut reaction of angry, scared or revolted people seeking revenge or retribution.
  • On 24 Dec 1659 the revolted army units resolved to restore the Parliament and approached the Speaker, William Lenthal, asking him to resume his authority that he presumably had never regarded as lost.
  • What interest had the latter in regaining the Irresistible or subduing a revolted crew?
2 [with object] Cause to feel disgust: he was revolted by the stench that greeted him
More example sentences
  • It's hard to imagine anyone else adding such sweet and vulnerable nuances to an otherwise revolting character.
  • I found myself strangely, nay, irresistibly attracted to this shocking and revolting oppressor of women and blacks.
  • My hands grew back, but alas all of my fingers are webbed together with revolting flaps of skin, and I am typing with my tongue.
disgust, sicken, nauseate, make nauseous, make someone sick, turn someone's stomach, be repugnant to, be repulsive to, put off, be offensive to, make someone's gorge rise
informal turn off, gross out
disgusting, sickening, nauseating, stomach-turning, stomach-churning, repulsive, repellent, repugnant, appalling, abominable, hideous, horrible, awful, dreadful, terrible, obnoxious, vile, nasty, foul, loathsome, offensive, objectionable, off-putting, distasteful, disagreeable, vomitous
informal ghastly, putrid, horrid, gross, gut-churning, yucky, icky
formal rebarbative
literary noisome, loathly
2.1 [no object] archaic Feel strong disgust.
Example sentences
  • What revolted was that Oliva reached his damnable decision alone.
  • But it is so ethically problematic that the mind revolts at the thought that it could be true.
  • ‘Common sense revolts at the idea,’ Justice Douglas wrote.


1An attempt to put an end to the authority of a person or body by rebelling: a countrywide revolt against the central government the peasants rose in revolt
More example sentences
  • Uzbekistan is the scene of the fourth revolt against authority in countries that used to be part of the USSR.
  • They learned to play while exiled in the refugee camps of Libya, at a time when the nomadic Tamashek people were in armed revolt against the Malian authorities.
  • By December 1139, Unur was in open revolt against Zengi's authority, and Zengi laid siege to the city, without success.
rebellion, revolution, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, rioting, insurgence, seizure of power, coup, coup d'état
1.1A refusal to continue to obey or conform: a revolt over tax increases
More example sentences
  • They are the latest, most dangerous incarnation of that staple of immigration literature, the revolt of the second generation.
  • Tax revolts have had enormous impacts in history.
  • The poll tax revolts are a warning of the fury that changes to local authority finances can trigger.


Mid 16th century: from French révolte (noun), révolter (verb), from Italian rivoltare, based on Latin revolvere 'roll back' (see revolve).

  • revolve from Late Middle English:

    The Latin verb volvere had the sense ‘to turn round, roll, tumble’; add re- in front and you get meaning such as ‘turn back, turn round’. This is the basic idea behind revolve and its offshoots: revolution (Late Middle English) which only came to mean the overthrow of a government in 1600, and which developed the form rev for the turning over of a motor in the early 20th century; and revolt (mid 16th century) initially used politically, and developing the sense ‘to make someone turn away in disgust’ in the mid 18th century. The sense ‘roll, tumble’ of volvere developed into vault, both for the sense ‘leap’ (mid 16th century) which came via Old French volter ‘to turn (a horse), gambol’, and for the arch that springs up to form a roof (Middle English). The turning sense is found in voluble (Middle English) initially used to mean ‘turning’, but was used for words rolling out of the mouth by the late 16th century, and in volume (Late Middle English) originally a rolled scroll rather than a book, but with the sense ‘quantity’ coming from an obsolete meaning ‘size or extent (of a book)’ by the early 16th century. Convoluted (late 18th century) comes from convolvere ‘rolled together, intertwined’ (the plant convolvulus, from the same root, that climbs by turning its stem around a support already existed as a word in Latin, where it could also mean a caterpillar that rolls itself up in a leaf); while devolve (Late Middle English) comes from its opposite devolvere ‘to unroll, roll down’; and involve (Late Middle English) from involvere ‘to roll in’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·volt

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