verb (used without object), re·bel, re·belled, re·bel·ling.
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Origin of rebel
OTHER WORDS FROM rebelreb·el·like, adjectivenon·reb·el, noun, adjectivepro·reb·el, adjectivesem·i·reb·el, noun
Words nearby rebel
What does rebel mean?
A rebel is a person who resists or defies rules or norms or rises up against the powers that be.
In its more serious sense, a rebel is a revolutionary trying to overthrow a government. More generally, it means someone who breaks the rules, resists authority, or otherwise challenges the status quo by doing things in a nontraditional way, such as in fashion and other arts. As a noun, rebel is pronounced “REB-uhl.”
Rebel is also a verb meaning to resist or rise up against authority or tradition. As a verb, rebel is pronounced “ri-BELL.”
Example: Danielle refused to wear her uniform to school, fighting with the principle and urging the other girls to rebel against the policy as she did.
Where does rebel come from?
To rebel is to make war against something you disagree with or refuse to conform to. In its most traditional sense, rebel literally means to wage war against a government or other form of rule in order to overthrow it. When multiple people participate in this kind of act, it is called a rebellion. In the American Civil War, the members of the Confederacy who attempted to secede from the Union are called Rebels. In the Star Wars series, the revolutionaries trying to bring down the Empire are known as the Rebel Alliance.
More generally, a rebel is anyone who challenges the established rules or the way things are. Rebels reject the status quo and instead play by their own rules, regardless of society’s restrictions or expectations. Because rebels are usually (by definition) taking on those who are more powerful, they are often seen as underdogs. They are also often seen as outsiders.
Teenagers who push against the boundaries set by their parents are often described as rebellious (the adjective form of rebel). The 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause helped to romanticize and popularize the character of the angsty teen rebel, played in the movie by James Dean.
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What are some other forms of rebel?
What are some synonyms for rebel?
What are some words that share a root or word element with rebel?
What are some words that often get used in discussing rebel?
How is rebel used in real life?
Rebel is commonly used to refer to an actual revolutionary trying to overthrow a government. It is also commonly used to refer to anyone intentionally breaking rules that they disagree with. Such rebels are often seen as cool and are usually portrayed that way in popular culture.
Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels are backing UN calls for a ceasefire to help battle coronavirus, according to their respective media outlets.
The Saudi-led coalition and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council have also reportedly welcomed the call.
— BBC Monitoring (@BBCMonitoring) March 26, 2020
— CNN (@CNN) March 4, 2019
Early-2000’s high school movies gave me the unrealistic expectation that we were all going to be in teen bands and rebel against the system, but here I am with no musical ability and the most rebellious I get is wearing socks and Crocs
— Alex LaGrand (@aelagrand) January 6, 2019
Try using rebel!
Is rebel used correctly in the following sentence?
He was praised as a rebel for his unquestioning acceptance of the rules.
Example sentences from the Web for rebel
Malakhov says there are criminals who have joined the rebel ranks and are exerting influence with their new positions.
Excerpted from Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson by S.C. Gwynne.
But he bristles at the mention of U.S. support for Syrian rebel groups.
The OSCE could not tell who fired at the school, Ukrainian or rebel forces.
And a woman—proud, strong, “again a rebel, [who] determines she will be crowned once again.”Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun|Katie Baker|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Rebel soldier had stolen his coat, and he had no blanket to protect him from the cold night-winds.Winning His Way|Charles Carleton Coffin
This was the last dispatch sent by Lee to the Rebel Government.The Great Conspiracy, Complete|John Alexander Logan
The rebel leaders in Arkansas found it out before the end of the second year of the war.The Lost Army|Thomas W. Knox
Both were perforated by the Rebel shell, the Tyler receiving the larger number.Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field|Thomas W. Knox
The troops on our left were to be withdrawn, but suddenly ordered to halt as the rebel cavalry was reported to attack our left.Diary of Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery|Theodore Reichardt
British Dictionary definitions for rebel
verb (rɪˈbɛl) -bels, -belling or -belled (intr often foll by against)
- a person who rebels
- (as modifier)a rebel soldier; a rebel leader