[ noun, adjective reb-uhl; verb ri-bel ]
See synonyms for: rebelrebels on

  1. a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of their country.

  2. a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.

  1. rebellious; defiant.

  2. of or relating to rebels.

verb (used without object),re·bel, re·belled, re·bel·ling.
  1. to reject, resist, or rise in arms against one's government or ruler.

  2. to resist or rise against some authority, control, or tradition.

  1. to show or feel utter repugnance: His very soul rebelled at spanking the child.

Origin of rebel

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English adjective rebel(e), from Old French rebelle, from Latin rebellis “renewing a war,” equivalent to re- re- + bell(um) “war” + -is adjective suffix; Middle English verb rebelle(n), from Old French rebeller and Latin rebellāre; noun derivative of the adjective

Other words for rebel

Other words from rebel

  • reb·el·like, adjective
  • non·reb·el, noun, adjective
  • pro·reb·el, adjective
  • sem·i·reb·el, noun

Words Nearby rebel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rebel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rebel


verb(rɪˈbɛl) -bels, -belling or -belled (intr often foll by against)
  1. to resist or rise up against a government or other authority, esp by force of arms

  2. to dissent from an accepted moral code or convention of behaviour, dress, etc

  1. to show repugnance (towards)

    • a person who rebels

    • (as modifier): a rebel soldier; a rebel leader

  1. a person who dissents from some accepted moral code or convention of behaviour, dress, etc

Origin of rebel

C13: from Old French rebelle, from Latin rebellis insurgent, from re- + bellum war

Derived forms of rebel

  • rebeldom, 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