a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, especially a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.
a member of a section of a political party that revolts against the methods or policies of the party.


of or characteristic of an insurgent or insurgents.
surging or rushing in: The insurgent waves battered the shore.

Origin of insurgent

1755–65; < Latin insurgent- (stem of insurgēns) present participle of insurgere to get up, ascend, rebel. See in-2, surge, -ent

Synonyms for insurgent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insurgent

Contemporary Examples of insurgent

Historical Examples of insurgent

  • They had fallen into the power of the leader of the insurgent workers!

    The Heads of Apex

    Francis Flagg

  • But the next day every swell in Paris came out as an insurgent.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • A couple of miles off an insurgent steamer was sighted, but it passed on.

  • Three months of warfare had wrought dissension in the insurgent camp.

  • Then what are they doing on that island, in company with the insurgent chiefs?

British Dictionary definitions for insurgent



rebellious or in revolt, as against a government in power or the civil authorities


a person who takes part in an uprising or rebellion; insurrectionist
international law a person or group that rises in revolt against an established government or authority but whose conduct does not amount to belligerency
Derived Formsinsurgency, noun

Word Origin for insurgent

C18: from Latin insurgēns rising upon or against, from insurgere to rise up, from surgere to rise
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

Word Origin and History for insurgent

"one who rises in revolt," 1765, from Latin insurgentem (nominative insurgens), present participle of insurgere "rise up, rise against, revolt," from in- "against," or perhaps merely intensive, + surgere "to rise" (see surge). An obsolete verb insurge "to rise in opposition or insurrection" is attested from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper