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.

Origin of rebellious

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin rebelliōsus, equivalent to Latin rebelli(ō) rebellion + -ōsus -ous
Related formsre·bel·lious·ly, adverbre·bel·lious·ness, nounhalf-re·bel·lious, adjectivehalf-re·bel·lious·ly, adverbhalf-re·bel·lious·ness, nounnon·re·bel·lious, adjectivenon·re·bel·lious·ly, adverbnon·re·bel·lious·ness, nounqua·si-re·bel·lious, adjectivequa·si-re·bel·lious·ly, adverbsem·i·re·bel·lious, adjectivesem·i·re·bel·lious·ly, adverbsem·i·re·bel·lious·ness, nounun·re·bel·lious, adjectiveun·re·bel·lious·ly, adverbun·re·bel·lious·ness, noun

Synonyms for rebellious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rebelliousness

Contemporary Examples of rebelliousness

Historical Examples of rebelliousness

  • And submissive, where rebelliousness would not have been without excuse.

  • Britt's ugly stare was taking the spirit out of the landlord's rebelliousness.

  • For her rebelliousness and general contumacy she was condemned to be burned alive.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

  • Notwithstanding my youth, my spirit has no fears of incurring a like rebelliousness.

    Pepita Ximenez

    Juan Valera

  • Back of this rebelliousness lay a certain amount of British influence.

    The Old Northwest

    Frederic Austin Ogg

British Dictionary definitions for rebelliousness



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

Word Origin and History for rebelliousness



early 15c., from Latin rebellis (see rebel (adj.)) + -ous. Related: Rebelliously; rebelliousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper