View synonyms for civil disobedience

civil disobedience

[ siv-uhl dis-uh-bee-dee-uhns ]


  1. the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy, characterized by the employment of such nonviolent techniques as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes. Compare noncooperation ( def 2 ), passive resistance.
  2. (initial capital letters, italics) an essay (1848) by Thoreau.

civil disobedience


  1. a refusal to obey laws, pay taxes, etc: a nonviolent means of protesting or of attempting to achieve political goals

civil disobedience

  1. The refusal to obey a law out of a belief that the law is morally wrong.

“Civil Disobedience”

  1. (1849) An essay by Henry David Thoreau . It contains his famous statement “That government is best which governs least,” and asserts that people's obligations to their own conscience take precedence over their obligations to their government. Thoreau also argues that if, in following their conscience, people find it necessary to break the laws of the state, they should be prepared to pay penalties, including imprisonment.
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In the nineteenth century, the American author Henry David Thoreau wrote “Civil Disobedience,” an important essay justifying such action.
In the twentieth century, civil disobedience was exercised by Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for independence in India . Civil disobedience, sometimes called nonviolent resistance or passive resistance , was also practiced by some members of the civil rights movement in the United States, notably Martin Luther King , Jr., to challenge segregation of public facilities; a common tactic of these civil rights supporters was the sit-in . King defended the use of civil disobedience in his “ Letter from Birmingham Jail .”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of civil disobedience1

First recorded in 1865–70
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Example Sentences

The stalemate has elicited protests, civil disobedience and arrests on Capitol Hill and beyond.

I am not for one second suggesting that my swim was some grand act of civil disobedience.

They say they are ready for civil disobedience and will not change any of their programs to comply with the law, which bans the depiction of homosexuality to minors.

The groups said they are prepared to engage in civil disobedience to challenge the law.

As I just mentioned, because this uprising is leaderless the civil disobedience movement will continue until this attempted coup ends.

From Time

Saint Louis City police also spent $325,000 upgrading helmets, sticks and other civil disobedience equipment.

Visitors like Sun have never seen civil disobedience practiced in real life.

Shoppers from Mainland China arrived in droves, and gained front row seats to civil disobedience in action.

He laid the blame firmly on meddling by foreign powers sowing civil disobedience.

But all Americans practice libertarian civil disobedience already, on their IRS forms.

But I have found to my cost that civil disobedience requires far greater preliminary training and self-control.

Trust in our government will end the current civil disobedience.

As the Congress had not then sanctioned civil disobedience, he did not break that order.

Both were trained at civil disobedience through looting their own state and factories.

Therefore those who offer civil disobedience for the sake of establishing Swaraj must know hand-spinning.


Related Words




civil defensecivil engineer