or gue·ril·la

[ guh-ril-uh ]
See synonyms for guerrilla on
  1. a member of a band of irregular soldiers that uses guerrilla warfare, harassing the enemy by surprise raids, sabotaging communication and supply lines, etc.

  1. pertaining to such fighters or their technique of warfare: guerrilla strongholds;guerrilla tactics.

  2. of or relating to an unauthorized, edgy, or disruptive version of an activity: guerrilla filmmaking on a busy sidewalk;guerilla gardening to beautify an abandoned lot.

Origin of guerrilla

First recorded in 1800–10; from Spanish, diminutive of guerra “war” (of Germanic origin) + -illa diminutive suffix; originally in reference to the Spanish resistance against Napoleon; the name for the struggle erroneously taken as a personal noun; cf. war1, -elle

Other words from guerrilla

  • guer·ril·la·ism, noun
  • an·ti·guer·ril·la, noun, adjective
  • coun·ter·guer·ril·la, adjective

Words that may be confused with guerrilla

Words Nearby guerrilla Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use guerrilla in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for guerrilla



/ (ɡəˈrɪlə) /

    • a member of an irregular usually politically motivated armed force that combats stronger regular forces, such as the army or police

    • (as modifier): guerrilla warfare

  1. a form of vegetative spread in which the advance is from several individual rhizomes or stolons growing rapidly away from the centre, as in some clovers: Compare phalanx

Origin of guerrilla

C19: from Spanish, diminutive of guerra war

Derived forms of guerrilla

  • guerrillaism or guerillaism, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012