When you rebel against your parents by dyeing your hair green and staying out without calling, you are acting in a way that questions both their authority and their rules about what is right and acceptable.

A rebel is someone who fights authority. The story of a rebel often finds its way into books and movies. In the 1950s film "Rebel without a Cause," a teenager rebels against his parents. In the "Star Wars" movies, the Jedi rebel against the Empire. A rebel, whether the cause they are fighting for is just or not, is always the underdog. One pronunciation hint, rebel as a noun has the stress on the first syllable and as a verb on the second.

Definitions of rebel

n someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action

Type of:
nonconformist, recusant
someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct

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

freedom fighter, insurgent, insurrectionist
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

v take part in a rebellion; renounce a former allegiance

arise, rise, rise up
make revolution
engage in a mutiny against an authority
Type of:
dissent, protest, resist
express opposition through action or words

v break with established customs

Type of:
dissent, protest, resist
express opposition through action or words

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.