Dictionary.com

reactionary

[ ree-ak-shuh-ner-ee ]
/ riˈæk ʃəˌnɛr i /
Save This Word!

adjective

of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.

noun, plural re·ac·tion·ar·ies.

a reactionary person.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.
Sometimes re·ac·tion·ist [ree-ak-shuh-nist] /riˈæk ʃə nɪst/ .

Origin of reactionary

1830–40; reaction + -ary; compare French réactionnaire
proactive, reactionary , reactive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for reactionary

reactionary

reactionist

/ (rɪˈækʃənərɪ, -ʃənrɪ) /

adjective

of, relating to, or characterized by reaction, esp against radical political or social change

noun plural -aries or -ists

a person opposed to radical change
reactionism, 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

Cultural definitions for reactionary

reactionary

An extremely conservative person or position that not only resists change but seeks to return to the “good old days” of an earlier social order.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Get Online Help For Kids!