An insurgent is a rebel or a revolutionary, someone who takes up arms against the authorities.

Insurgent is from the Latin word “insurgentem,” literally meaning “to rise against,” so think of an insurgent as a fighter who rises against the people in power. Often insurgents are considered terrorists because they use violence to intimidate people.

Definitions of insurgent

adj in opposition to a civil authority or government

seditious, subversive
deserting your allegiance or duty to leader or cause or principle

n a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)

freedom fighter, insurrectionist, rebel
Nat Turner
United States slave and insurrectionist who in 1831 led a rebellion of slaves in Virginia; he was captured and executed (1800-1831)
Denmark Vesey
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)
someone who is openly rebellious and refuses to obey authorities (especially seamen or soldiers)
Young Turk
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
Type of:
crusader, meliorist, reformer, reformist, social reformer
a disputant who advocates reform
revolutionary, revolutionist, subversive, subverter
a radical supporter of political or social revolution

n a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment

guerilla, guerrilla, irregular
Maquis, Maquisard
a guerrilla fighter in the French underground in World War II
urban guerrilla
a guerrilla who fights only in cities and towns
Type of:
someone engaged in or experienced in warfare

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