[ jak-uh-bin ]

  1. (in the French Revolution) a member of a radical society or club of revolutionaries that promoted the Reign of Terror and other extreme measures, active chiefly from 1789 to 1794: so called from the Dominican convent in Paris, where they originally met.

  2. an extreme radical, especially in politics.

  1. a Dominican friar.

  2. (lowercase) one of a fancy breed of domestic pigeons having neck feathers that hang over the head like a hood.

Origin of Jacobin

1275–1325; Middle English Jacobin<Old French (frere) jacobin<Medieval Latin (frater) Jacōbinus.See Jacob, -in1

Other words from Jacobin

  • Jac·o·bin·ic, Jac·o·bin·i·cal, adjective
  • Jac·o·bin·ism, noun

Words Nearby Jacobin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Jacobin in a sentence

  • Babeuf and Darthe, the principal leaders were secured and executed, which completely crushed the Jacobin power.

  • At Stettin, during the armistice, he entered the fortress and tried to seduce the governor, an ex-Jacobin and erstwhile friend.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • But though he made his submission, again and again his Jacobin principles made themselves felt.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • But Napoleon knew his man and his price: a Marshal's bton and a princely income did much to control his Jacobin proclivities.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • In his own opinion no better agent could have been found in the rle of a stern, unbending republican and fiery Jacobin.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison

British Dictionary definitions for Jacobin


/ (ˈdʒækəbɪn) /

  1. a member of the most radical club founded during the French Revolution, which overthrew the Girondists in 1793 and, led by Robespierre, instituted the Reign of Terror

  2. a leftist or extreme political radical

  1. a French Dominican friar

  2. (sometimes not capital) a variety of fancy pigeon with a hood of feathers swept up over and around the head

  1. of, characteristic of, or relating to the Jacobins or their policies

Origin of Jacobin

C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin Jacōbīnus, from Late Latin Jacōbus James; applied to the Dominicans, from the proximity of the church of St Jacques (St James) to their first convent in Paris; the political club originally met in the convent in 1789

Derived forms of Jacobin

  • Jacobinic or Jacobinical, adjective
  • Jacobinically, adverb
  • Jacobinism, 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