[ ri-bel-yuhs ]
/ rɪˈbɛl yəs /
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defying or resisting some established authority, government, or tradition; insubordinate; inclined to rebel.
pertaining to or characteristic of rebels or rebellion.
(of things) resisting treatment; refractory.
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Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of rebellious

1400–50; late Middle English <Medieval Latin rebelliōsus, equivalent to Latin rebelli(ō) rebellion + -ōsus-ous


Words nearby rebellious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does rebellious mean?

Rebellious is an adjective that describes someone who resists or defies rules.

Someone who acts in such a way can be called a rebel. However, the word rebel can also be used to refer to a revolutionary trying to overthrow a government. Such actions can be described as rebellious, but rebellious is much more commonly used to describe people or actions that break the rules, resist authority, or otherwise challenge the status quo. It’s especially applied to teenagers who act this way.

The noun rebelliousness refers to such behavior. The noun rebellion can refer to this, but it’s also used to refer to an attempt to overthrow a government (rebelliousness isn’t typically used this way.)

Example: Danielle was labeled rebellious for refusing to wear her uniform to school.

Where does rebellious come from?

The first records of the word rebellious come from the 1400s. It and related words, like rebel and rebellion, are derived from the Latin bell(um), which means “war” and is also the root of war-related words like antebellum, belligerent, and bellicose.

In general, rebellious can be used to describe anyone who challenges the established rules or the way things are. Rebellious people reject the status quo and instead play by their own rules, regardless of society’s restrictions or expectations. Teenagers who push against the boundaries set by their parents are often described as rebellious. The 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause helped to romanticize and popularize the character of the angsty rebellious teen, played in the movie by James Dean.

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What are some other forms of rebellious?

What are some synonyms for rebellious?

What are some words that share a root or word element with rebellious


What are some words that often get used in discussing rebellious?

How is rebellious used in real life?

Rebellious is most commonly applied to teenagers testing their boundaries by defying their parents.



Try using rebellious!

Is rebellious used correctly in the following sentence?

He was praised as rebellious for his unquestioning acceptance of the rules.

How to use rebellious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rebellious

/ (rɪˈbɛljəs) /

showing a tendency towards rebellion
(of a problem, etc) difficult to overcome; refractory

Derived forms of rebellious

rebelliously, adverbrebelliousness, 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