[ noun, adjective reb-uhl; verb ri-bel ]
/ noun, adjective ˈrɛb əl; verb rɪˈbɛl /


a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country.
a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.


rebellious; defiant.
of or relating to rebels.

verb (used without object), re·bel, re·belled, re·bel·ling.

Nearby words

  1. rebbe,
  2. rebbetzin,
  3. rebec,
  4. rebecca,
  5. rebekah,
  6. rebel yell,
  7. rebeldom,
  8. rebellion,
  9. rebellious,
  10. rebellow

Origin of rebel

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English < Old French rebelle < Latin rebellis renewing a war, equivalent to re- re- + bell(um) war + -is adj. suffix; (v.) Middle English rebellen (< Old French rebeller) < Latin rebellāre; (noun) Middle English rebel, derivative of the adj.

Related formsreb·el·like, adjectivenon·reb·el, noun, adjectivepro·reb·el, adjectivesem·i·reb·el, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rebel

British Dictionary definitions for rebel


verb (rɪˈbɛl) -bels, -belling or -belled (intr often foll by against)

to resist or rise up against a government or other authority, esp by force of arms
to dissent from an accepted moral code or convention of behaviour, dress, etc
to show repugnance (towards)

noun (ˈrɛbəl)

  1. a person who rebels
  2. (as modifier)a rebel soldier; a rebel leader
a person who dissents from some accepted moral code or convention of behaviour, dress, etc
Derived Formsrebeldom, noun

Word Origin for rebel

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

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 rebel
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper