Definition of revolutionary in English:



  • 1Involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.

    ‘a revolutionary new drug’
    • ‘By focusing on the superficial, they missed what is truly revolutionary about the game.’
    • ‘They started painting outdoors, which itself was considered to be quite revolutionary.’
    • ‘In fact, he thought, their hostility was often proof of the revolutionary nature of his ideas.’
    • ‘Yoko Ltd manufactures a revolutionary bonnet which is designed to make life more comfortable for premature babies.’
    • ‘And they had a more revolutionary idea: They might help patients recover from relapses once they happened.’
    • ‘And the most revolutionary changes are taking place in the field of education.’
    • ‘Electronic B2B services seem revolutionary, but in fact they are really nothing new.’
    • ‘Why are you so convinced that his new work will be so revolutionary?’
    • ‘That appointment was revolutionary, for never in its more than one hundred years in St Lucia had a native son held the top job.’
    • ‘I'd heard that it was a science fiction classic, with revolutionary ideas about free love and community.’
    • ‘Through a revolutionary computer mock-up of the development potential tenants can now take a virtual tour of the building.’
    • ‘I think it's going to be quite revolutionary in the corporate world.’
    • ‘While a video might not seem revolutionary, the execution was.’
    • ‘Sounds awful touchy-feely, but sometimes the most revolutionary ideas are touchy-feely.’
    • ‘Doctors in Britain are set to start trials of a revolutionary treatment for heart disease using stem cells, it emerged yesterday.’
    • ‘Mr Carroll and his colleagues recently spoke of their work at a meeting in London and the revolutionary approach left a huge impression.’
    • ‘The reforms that started in 1991, are bringing in more and more revolutionary changes.’
    • ‘Most farmers are really interested in innovation, but automatic milking might seem too revolutionary.’
    • ‘Later, after the move to London, the revolutionary changes in publishing technology, there was no longer any such cause.’
    • ‘Can rap be reformed to become a truly revolutionary cultural movement?’
    thoroughgoing, thorough, complete, total, entire, absolute, utter, comprehensive, exhaustive, sweeping, far-reaching, wide-ranging, extensive, profound
    new, novel, original, unusual, unfamiliar, unconventional, unorthodox, off-centre, different, fresh, imaginative, creative, innovative, innovatory, innovational, inventive, ingenious, modern, ultra-modern, state-of-the-art, advanced, avant-garde, futuristic, pioneering, groundbreaking, trailblazing, disruptive
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  • 2Engaged in or promoting political revolution.

    ‘the revolutionary army’
    • ‘Later the revolutionary government concurred and the place was razed.’
    • ‘Last but not least was the fact that the revolutionary movements were isolated internationally.’
    • ‘From the beginning of the wars he had been puzzling over the performance of the French revolutionary armies.’
    • ‘Even revolutionary politics may be articulated in terms of constitutional categories.’
    • ‘Epidemic smallpox surfaced first in Boston, that hotbed of revolutionary fervor.’
    • ‘Brion was by no means the only pundit predicting some form of revolutionary upheaval.’
    • ‘Will new wars result or new revolutionary movements?’
    • ‘Within the class, only the ‘alienated’ worker is truly revolutionary.’
    • ‘Both forces styled themselves as revolutionary armies on the Soviet model.’
    • ‘Radical coups introduce potentially revolutionary changes into society and place members of the armed forces into positions of unquestioned control.’
    • ‘Calle San Sebastian still heaves, though the revolutionary fervour seems to have evaporated.’
    • ‘A wave of revolutionary fervour swept across Europe affecting the Fife coalfields powerfully.’
    • ‘In fact, they were acting not as revolutionary socialists but as mere trade unionists.’
    • ‘He became a revolutionary socialist when he was a young journalist working on Scotland's Daily Record.’
    • ‘He warns that revolutionary struggle is difficult, but that winning is ‘the hardest of all’.’
    • ‘She finally leaves her family to join a revolutionary theatre group.’
    • ‘He became a political activist in the mid-1950s when revolutionary socialism faced a double challenge.’
    • ‘Wilson made his address primarily in response to the revolutionary upheaval in Russia.’
    • ‘The idea of embarking upon yet more revolutionary upheaval seemed anathema.’
    • ‘Two hundred years ago, revolutionary fervour burnt this church to the ground.’
    rebellious, rebel, insurgent, rioting, mutinous, mutinying, renegade, insurrectionary, seditious, factious, insubordinate, subversive
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    1. 2.1Relating to a particular revolution, especially the War of American Independence.
      • ‘Basset hounds were known in the United States since Revolutionary times.’
      • ‘But Hamilton was also a Revolutionary War hero, George Washington's chief of staff, an author of the Federalist Papers and a Treasury secretary who created many of the financial and economic systems that survive today.’
      • ‘This takes into account the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Korean War and Vietnam.’
      • ‘Named for Lenny Zakim, a local, beloved civil rights leader, and the nearby Bunker Hill Monument, which commemorates a Revolutionary War battle, the bridge incorporates elements of the monument in its design.’
      • ‘The Creeks supported the British in the American Revolutionary War.’
      • ‘The Dutch United Provinces supported the Americans in the Revolutionary War.’
      • ‘George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Paul Revere were among the prominent American Masons of the Revolutionary Era.’
      • ‘There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue.’
      • ‘It is an excellent account of the critical Revolutionary War battle for New York.’
      • ‘On republicanism, consult Gordon Wood's ‘The Radicalism of the American Revolution; Richard Buel, Dear Liberty: Connecticut's Mobilization for the Revolutionary War.’’


  • A person who advocates or engages in political revolution.

    • ‘My class on the Revolutionary just studied Thomas Paine's Common Sense.’
    • ‘A Shia victory puts the prize in overtly enemy hands-the Iranian revolutionaries.’
    • ‘They like to believe that we're all revolutionaries living in the mountains, like Fidel and Che.’
    • ‘Ceasescu and his wife, Elena, were captured by the revolutionaries, tried and executed on Christmas Day.’
    • ‘Quite how this fits in with the activists' description of themselves as Marxists or revolutionaries still eludes me.’
    • ‘The acts of violence by these revolutionaries were countered by excesses committed by the police.’
    • ‘At a conference in Algiers, he had just denounced the Soviet Union for failing revolutionaries across the globe.’
    • ‘He was a revolutionary and like all successful revolutionaries he worked from within.’
    • ‘The rhetoric and actions of these wanna-be revolutionaries are interesting, though.’
    • ‘It unites clerics and revolutionaries, monks and social reformers.’
    • ‘Together with other revolutionaries in Romania, they started writing poems.’
    • ‘The revolutionaries are the prophets and martyrs of social and political change.’
    • ‘However, even if you can't pull a sickie, the armchair revolutionaries say you can still sabotage your company.’
    • ‘The revolutionaries thus occupied as much as created a political vacuum, which they sought to fill with a new order.’
    • ‘I recently spoke to some old revolutionaries who are against President Jiang's proposal.’
    • ‘Many are produced by revolutionaries who grew up not in Iran but in Europe and North America.’
    • ‘They would act like any revolutionary vanguard, as Lenin or indeed the French revolutionaries had imagined.’
    • ‘But like many e-commerce revolutionaries, McGuire has his finger in a number of pies.’
    • ‘Two thousand years ago, Christians were the modernizing force, the revolutionaries.’
    • ‘Among the young revolutionaries of St Petersburg Lenin was aptly known as ‘the Old Man’.’
    rebel, insurgent, revolutionist, bolshevik, mutineer, insurrectionary, agitator, subversive, guerrilla, anarchist
    freedom fighter, resistance fighter
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