A revolutionary person fearlessly advocates radical change. Revolutionary people and ideas challenge the status quo and might be violent or willing to upset the natural order to achieve their goals.
Like the word revolve, it's all about turning things around. Revolutionary leaders want to change the world by any means necessary. Before he was the coolest face on a T-shirt, Che Guevara was ready to die for change in South America (and in fact, he did). You don't need to be violent to be revolutionary, just ask Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King. You don't even need to be political. Alexander McQueen, John Lennon, and Picasso could tell you that.
Primary Meanings of revolutionary
markedly new or introducing radical change
a radical supporter of political or social revolution
of or relating to or characteristic or causing an axial or orbital turn
adj markedly new or introducing radical change
adj relating to or having the nature of a revolution
n a radical supporter of political or social revolution
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Marie Anne Charlotte Corday d'Armont
French revolutionary heroine (a Girondist) who assassinated Marat (1768-1793)
Georges Jacques Danton
French revolutionary leader who stormed the Paris bastille and who supported the execution of Louis XVI but was guillotined by Robespierre for his opposition to the Reign of Terror (1759-1794)
an Argentine revolutionary leader who was Fidel Castro's chief lieutenant in the Cuban revolution; active in other Latin American countries; was captured and executed by the Bolivian army (1928-1967)
Chinese communist leader (1893-1976)
Jean Paul Marat
French revolutionary leader (born in Switzerland) who was a leader in overthrowing the Girondists and was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday (1743-1793)
Jose Julian Marti
Cuban poet and revolutionary who fought for Cuban independence from Spain (1853-1895)
founder of modern communism; wrote the Communist Manifesto with Engels in 1848; wrote Das Kapital in 1867 (1818-1883)
Honore-Gabriel Victor Riqueti
French revolutionary who was prominent in the early days of the French Revolution (1749-1791)
Maxmillien Marie Isidore de Robespierre
French revolutionary; leader of the Jacobins and architect of the Reign of Terror; was himself executed in a coup d'etat (1758-1794)
Lev Davidovich Bronstein
Russian revolutionary and Communist theorist who helped Lenin and built up the army; he was ousted from the Communist Party by Stalin and eventually assassinated in Mexico (1879-1940)
Mexican revolutionary leader (1877-1923)
Mexican revolutionary who led a revolt for agrarian reforms (1879-1919)
Chinese revolutionary and communist leader (1898-1976)
United States slave and insurrectionist who in 1831 led a rebellion of slaves in Virginia; he was captured and executed (1800-1831)
United States freed slave and insurrectionist in South Carolina who was involved in planning an uprising of slaves and was hanged (1767-1822)
Sir William Wallace
Scottish insurgent who led the resistance to Edward I; in 1297 he gained control of Scotland briefly until Edward invaded Scotland again and defeated Wallace and subsequently executed him (1270-1305)
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counter-revolutionist, counterrevolutionary, counterrevolutionist
a revolutionary whose aim is to reverse the changes introduced by an earlier revolution
a person who uses dynamite in a revolutionary cause
a member of the moderate republican party that was in power during the French Revolution; the Girondists were overthrown by their more radical rivals the Jacobins
freedom fighter, insurgent, insurrectionist, rebel
a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
someone who is openly rebellious and refuses to obey authorities (especially seamen or soldiers)
a member of one or more of the insurgent groups in Turkey in the late 19th century who rebelled against the absolutism of Ottoman rule
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a person who has radical ideas or opinions