Definition of revolt in English:



  • 1[no object] Take violent action against an established government or ruler; rebel.

    ‘the Iceni revolted and had to be suppressed’
    • ‘Beleaguered Bush aides say they can fight who they're supposed to, Democrats, not fellow Republicans revolting against their leader.’
    • ‘Or will it revolt against being dragged down into economic and climatic chaos?’
    • ‘He urged workers around the world to revolt against their rulers.’
    • ‘Instead, he calls for the poor to rise up and revolt.’
    • ‘And there will be blood, too, or else people will start to revolt against the Lone Guard and Miskavel's purification.’
    • ‘The issues over which the five revolted were: the presidency, federalism, women's rights, and the permanent constitution.’
    • ‘The exiles followed the Dalai Lama, the supreme Tibetan Buddhist leader, who fled Tibet after a failed 1959 revolt against Chinese rule.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best evidence of the poor quality of Texas' public schools is the fact that its graduates didn't spend Independence Day revolting against their state legislators.’
    • ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina rose up and revolted against the high taxes imposed by the Ottoman authorities.’
    • ‘All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.’
    • ‘Other planets that are revolting have already aligned under a human leader, and unless we create order here, we shall surely fall, be it to Talon, or the Kashiza, or even ourselves.’
    • ‘This violence is directed towards other national states, and the state's own population who revolt against the oppression they suffer.’
    • ‘He urged people to revolt against the established government and turn the revolution against the king although he preferred to remain aloof from the actual events.’
    • ‘Five calls described the intent of passengers and surviving crew members to revolt against the hijackers.’
    • ‘It was only over one year later that the opposition was able to revolt against and topple Milosevic.’
    • ‘Are they waiting for the public to revolt one day?’
    • ‘Even as they haggled over the small print with the French, British officials were encouraging Arab nobles to revolt against the Ottomans.’
    • ‘Efforts on the part of the Sicilians to revolt against the new laws were quickly suppressed, often brutally.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the first thing the people of Sidon did when they revolted was to make for the local paradise and inflict terrible injuries on the vegetation.’
    • ‘The ballet tells the story of the slave-leader Spartacus who incites his fellow slaves to revolt against their Roman oppressors.’
    rebel, rise up, rise, take to the streets, take up arms, riot, mutiny, take part in an uprising, show resistance
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    1. 1.1Refuse to acknowledge someone or something as having authority.
      ‘voters may revolt when they realize the cost of the measures’
      • ‘If the devil was a real angel to begin with, how ever did he come to revolt against God?’
      • ‘There is no textual evidence to suggest that Jesus was concerned to see the repressive tax system changed, or that he urged the tax-collectors to revolt against it.’
      • ‘Those of you with families, boyfriends, girlfriends, just-friends - revolt against Hallmark and the diamond industry.’
      • ‘Now the clubs in Zimbabwe have started to revolt against the power of the ZCU and their costly rebranding.’
      • ‘Pressure is growing on Fianna Fáil Deputies in the West of Ireland to revolt against current government spending policies which could spell disaster for the region.’
      • ‘None of the few people that revolted were able to break the peace.’
      • ‘Trudeau, who at age 40 still lived with his mother, emanated an attractive temptation to revolt against custom, to fight the status quo.’
      • ‘They may be hard to take seriously as radical insurrectionists, but Scotland's doctors are revolting.’
      • ‘The week past has shown, for the first time, that Labour backbenchers have found out how to revolt against ministers and that they are willing to do so.’
      • ‘I was even one of those progressive Sixties kids who revolted, refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.’
      • ‘Just as voters tend to revolt at by-elections, those polled may use the opportunity to register their resentment over government policy.’
      • ‘And the dictatorship will be created by the very people who are revolting against authority.’
      • ‘Four days later Anderton, who was last week appointed chief executive of Hearts Football Club, resigned, saying that member clubs should revolt against Mackay's sacking.’
      • ‘And then these Daarians come, and take over, and now you see normally law-abiding citizens revolting left and right!’
      • ‘Traditionally, spies revolt against Labour governments because they fear the party is made up of unpatriotic reds.’
      • ‘Marasha said women should not revolt against the custom but rather establish platforms to raise their concerns and investigate the deep purpose of the custom.’
      • ‘Sections of the Indian military, frustrated by the past year's border deployment without action, could revolt and refuse to attack Hindus.’
      • ‘There are a rising number of strikes taking place in the public sector, as workers revolt against low pay and privatisation.’
      • ‘The people are revolting over the high rates rises.’
      • ‘How to care for children, especially those in their teens, who can be very rebellious, revolting and resistant?’
    2. 1.2archaic Having rebelled.
      ‘the emperor was leading an expedition against the revolted Bretons’
      • ‘Quite often it is the gut reaction of angry, scared or revolted people seeking revenge or retribution.’
      • ‘On 24 Dec 1659 the revolted army units resolved to restore the Parliament and approached the Speaker, William Lenthal, asking him to resume his authority that he presumably had never regarded as lost.’
      • ‘What interest had the latter in regaining the Irresistible or subduing a revolted crew?’
  • 2[with object] Cause to feel disgust.

    ‘he was revolted by the stench that greeted him’
    • ‘My hands grew back, but alas all of my fingers are webbed together with revolting flaps of skin, and I am typing with my tongue.’
    • ‘The thought of that revolted me and I came very, very close to throwing up there and then.’
    • ‘Diego Martin has suddenly become the scene of some of the most revolting crimes.’
    • ‘She was revolted by bags of pre-prepared potatoes, smothered in gloopy preservative and packed in plastic.’
    • ‘Tarantino is happy to have his audience laughing one moment and revolted the next.’
    • ‘The exhibition has both fascinated and revolted its audiences.’
    • ‘Most who oppose the war are instinctively revolted by its slaughter.’
    • ‘Rashid, whose own Islam is a civil and humane affair, is revolted by these tribal sectaries.’
    • ‘The so-called loyalties, sense of belonging and togetherness are revolting cliches.’
    • ‘Shocked, I reeled away in horror, fearing that some passing stranger might take me for a rubber fetishist, a thought that appals and revolts me.’
    • ‘Driven by a death wish and using the most revolting tactics, these heartless nihilists demand martyrdom.’
    • ‘No wonder I didn't know I had a brain when I was at home, or that I wasn't a totally revolting person.’
    • ‘It's hard to imagine anyone else adding such sweet and vulnerable nuances to an otherwise revolting character.’
    • ‘He was almost physically pained by rigid doctrinal systems, and mildly revolted by the idea of discipleship.’
    • ‘That is unspeakable and one of the many revolting facts as to why prostitution should be abolished and not legalised.’
    • ‘He was revolted by Taylor, whose job was to ensure the company's IT system ran smoothly.’
    • ‘I was always revolted by that triumphal sense of an achieved empire - to me it was appalling.’
    • ‘The nurse's colleagues were clearly revolted, as was the other male character.’
    • ‘I found myself strangely, nay, irresistibly attracted to this shocking and revolting oppressor of women and blacks.’
    • ‘People who enjoy sport were given a sharp, revolting reminder of what really matters.’
    revolting, disgusting, abhorrent, repellent, repugnant, offensive, objectionable, vile, foul, nasty, loathsome, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, stomach-turning, hateful, detestable, execrable, abominable, monstrous, appalling, reprehensible, deplorable, insufferable, intolerable, despicable, contemptible, beyond the pale, unspeakable, noxious, horrendous, heinous, atrocious, awful, terrible, dreadful, frightful, obnoxious, unsavoury, unpleasant, disagreeable, distasteful, dislikeable, off-putting, uninviting, displeasing
    disgust, sicken, nauseate, make someone sick, make someone feel sick, make someone's gorge rise, turn someone's stomach, upset, be repugnant to, repel, repulse, be repulsive to, make someone's flesh crawl, make someone shudder, put off, offend, be offensive to, cause offence to, shock, horrify
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    1. 2.1archaic [no object]Feel disgust.
      ‘'tis just the main assumption reason most revolts at’
      • ‘‘Common sense revolts at the idea,’ Justice Douglas wrote.’
      • ‘But it is so ethically problematic that the mind revolts at the thought that it could be true.’
      • ‘What revolted was that Oliva reached his damnable decision alone.’


  • 1An attempt to end the authority of a person or body by rebelling.

    ‘a country-wide revolt against the government’
    [mass noun] ‘the peasants rose in revolt’
    • ‘The rural population rose in revolt against the barons, who responded by mobilizing their private armies.’
    • ‘The original song, written during the revolution of 1830, exalted the revolt against the ‘arbitrary’ power of the Dutch king.’
    • ‘Nationalist revolts broke out in the Overseas Provinces of Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique in 1961-1964.’
    • ‘During this time he led an uprising and mass peasant revolt against the ruling Poles.’
    • ‘Linebaugh and Rediker substantiate the evangelical underpinnings of proletarian revolts seen briefly before in the story of Francis, the Pentecostal maid.’
    • ‘They learned to play while exiled in the refugee camps of Libya, at a time when the nomadic Tamashek people were in armed revolt against the Malian authorities.’
    • ‘She was the mistress of a king and provoked a revolt against him which caused him to lose his kingdom.’
    • ‘Spartacus is the tale of a slave who was trained as a gladiator and led a bloody revolt against his Roman masters more than 2,000 years ago.’
    • ‘It was a popular revolt against the British troops that had just arrived to secure the surrender of the Japanese.’
    • ‘Uzbekistan is the scene of the fourth revolt against authority in countries that used to be part of the USSR.’
    • ‘The revolt against this new phase of imperialism, however, has clearly only just begun.’
    • ‘The day William Walker arrives in Queimada he begins his search for a slave who might lead a revolt against the white masters.’
    • ‘One resident who spoke to the Los Angles Times described the uprising as a popular revolt against the occupying power.’
    • ‘The area, a focus for the Kurdish revolt against Ankara, is in a military state of emergency.’
    • ‘By December 1139, Unur was in open revolt against Zengi's authority, and Zengi laid siege to the city, without success.’
    • ‘Massood trained as an architect before leading a revolt against the Soviet-backed Marxist regime in Afghanistan in 1977.’
    • ‘A peasant leader, Titu Mir led a revolt against the British in Bengal in 1830-31, and was killed in the course of it.’
    • ‘What was originally a graphic novel, updating an Orwellian tale of revolt against an authoritarian government to the Eighties, has become a movie that updates the same themes to the present day.’
    • ‘On July 23rd 1952, Nasser helped to organise a revolt against the Royal Family and King Farouk was overthrown after a few days of bloodless rebellion.’
    • ‘What his ears were picking up last week were the first signs of a peasant's revolt against Brown.’
    rebellion, revolution, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, rioting, rising, insurgence, insurgency, coup, overthrow, seizure of power, regime change, subversion, sedition, anarchy, disorder, protest, strike, act of resistance, act of defiance
    coup d'état, jacquerie
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A refusal to continue to obey or conform.
      ‘a revolt over tax increases’
      • ‘Houghton's plays dealt with revolt against parental authority and generational conflict.’
      • ‘The poll tax revolts are a warning of the fury that changes to local authority finances can trigger.’
      • ‘The town is leading a revolt against Manchester's trailblazing cow parade next month by organizing a rival sheep procession.’
      • ‘They are the latest, most dangerous incarnation of that staple of immigration literature, the revolt of the second generation.’
      • ‘There's a tax revolt under way in Upstate New York.’
      • ‘A proper review of the Sun's position would extend back months before April 1993, when the tax revolt blossomed into a two smallish demonstrations.’
      • ‘If the peso continues plummeting, however, a popular revolt cannot be discounted.’
      • ‘Tax revolts have had enormous impacts in history.’
      • ‘It is this authenticity which lends credence to a runaway plot of student revolt against authority.’
      • ‘Occidentalism, say the authors, is a revolt against rationalism, secularism and individualism.’
      • ‘Some of this is part of an adolescent revolt against authority dictated by peer pressure.’
      • ‘Beyond that, it is a revolt against cross-party rule by political oligarchies, frustrating the known wishes of the population.’
      • ‘The traders, already feeling persecuted by the new system, rose in revolt against proposed restrictions, citing increased costs at a time of reduced revenues.’
      • ‘The gas revolt is the second wave of protest to rock Bolivia this year.’
      • ‘I'm thinking that, just in time, this could be a revolt against branding, which is a revolution I would join.’
      • ‘A sign of things to come for McConnell was demonstrated by the widespread revolt against his nominee for deputy presiding officer.’
      • ‘The essay is a revolt against the hegemony of imagination.’
      • ‘The diseased body stages a revolt against those functions that biographers record, reasserting the animal in pain, so similar in the end to other animals in pain.’
      • ‘The prospect of a revolt convinced UEFA to increase the clubs' shares of the Champions League pot - yet that hasn't halted the demands for reform.’
      • ‘The twentieth century has witnessed an almost world-wide revolt against forms of authority that have generally been recognised by the human race for millennia.’


Mid 16th century: from French révolte (noun), révolter (verb), from Italian rivoltare, based on Latin revolvere roll back (see revolve).