[ rev-uh-loo-shuh-ner-ee ]
/ ˌrɛv əˈlu ʃəˌnɛr i /


of, pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of a revolution, or a sudden, complete, or marked change: a revolutionary junta.
radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.: a revolutionary discovery.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the American Revolution or to the period contemporaneous with it in U.S. history: Revolutionary heroes; Revolutionary weapons.

noun, plural rev·o·lu·tion·ar·ies.

a revolutionist.

Nearby words

  1. revolt,
  2. revolting,
  3. revolute,
  4. revolution,
  5. revolution counter,
  6. revolutionary calendar,
  7. revolutionary war,
  8. revolutionary wars,
  9. revolutionist,
  10. revolutionize

Origin of revolutionary

First recorded in 1765–75; revolution + -ary

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for revolutionary

British Dictionary definitions for revolutionary


/ (ˌrɛvəˈluːʃənərɪ) /

noun plural -aries

a person who advocates or engages in revolution


relating to or characteristic of a revolution
advocating or engaged in revolution
radically new or differenta revolutionary method of making plastics
rotating or revolving
Derived Formsrevolutionarily, adverb


/ (ˌrɛvəˈluːʃənərɪ) /


mainly US of or relating to the conflict or period of the War of American Independence (1775–83)
of or relating to any of various other Revolutions, esp the Russian Revolution (1917) or the French Revolution (1789)
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 revolutionary



1774; see revolution + -ary. As a noun, from 1850 (cf revolutionist).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper