AskDefine | Define revolutionary

Dictionary Definition

revolutionary adj
1 markedly new or introducing radical change; "a revolutionary discovery"; "radical political views" [syn: radical]
2 relating to or having the nature of a revolution; "revolutionary wars"; "the Revolutionary era"
3 advocating or engaged in revolution; "revolutionary pamphlets"; "a revolutionary junta" [ant: counterrevolutionary] n : a radical supporter of political or social revolution [syn: revolutionist, subversive, subverter]

User Contributed Dictionary



confer révolutionnaire


  1. Of or pertaining to a revolution in government; tending to, or promoting, revolution; as, revolutionary war; revolutionary measures; revolutionary agitators.
  2. pertaining to something that portends of great change; overthrowing a standing mindset
  3. pertaining to something that revolves


of or pertaining to a revolution in government
  • Czech: revoluční
  • German: revolutionär


  1. A revolutionist; a person who revolts.


A revolutionist; a person who revolts
  • German: Revolutionär
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: شۆڕشگێڕ

Extensive Definition

A revolutionary, when used as a noun, is a person who either actively engages in some kind of revolution, or advocates the revolution, with recognition from some government or party which is effectively carrying out a revolution of the same category . The term is usually applied to political revolutionaries or social revolutionaries, and less frequently used to revolutionary scientists, inventors, and artists. In the political context, the term "revolutionary" is often used in contrast to the term reformist. While a revolutionary is someone who supports abrupt change, a reformist is someone who supports more gradual change. When used as an adjective, revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. Political revolutionaries may be classified in two ways:
  1. According to the goals of the revolution they propose. Usually, these goals are part of a certain ideology. In theory, each ideology could generate its own brand of revolutionaries. In practice, most political revolutionaries have been either liberals, nationalists, socialists, communists, fascists or anarchists.
  2. According to the methods they propose to use. This divides revolutionaries in two broad groups: Those who advocate a violent revolution, and those who are pacifists. Perhaps the best known examples of these two types of revolutionaries are Che Guevara and Mahatma Gandhi, respectively .
revolutionary in German: Revolutionär
revolutionary in Estonian: Revolitsionäär
revolutionary in Latin: Rerum novarum cupidus
revolutionary in Japanese: 革命家

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bolshevik, Bolshevist, Bolshie, Carbonarist, Carbonaro, Castroist, Castroite, Charley, Communist, Cong, Fabian, Fenian, Guevarist, Jacobin, Leninist, Mafioso, Maoist, Marxist, Mau-Mau, Puritan, Red, Red Republican, Roundhead, Sinn Feiner, Trotskyist, Trotskyite, VC, Vietcong, Wobbly, Yankee, Yankee Doodle, Young Turk, agitator, altered, anarch, anarchist, anarchistic, anarcho-syndicalist, antagonistic, antipathetic, authentic, avant-garde, beast, beldam, berserk, berserker, better, bomber, bonnet rouge, brawler, breakaway, brute, cataclysmic, catastrophic, changeable, changed, clashing, conflicting, contradicting, contradictory, converted, corrective, counteractant, counteracting, counteractive, countervailing, counterworking, cranky, creative, criminal syndicalist, crotchety, degenerate, demon, deviant, devil, different, disorderly, dissident, divergent, dragon, emendatory, extreme, extreme left-winger, extremist, extremistic, factious, fanatic, fiend, fire-eater, firebrand, firsthand, fresh, frondeur, fury, goon, gorilla, gradualistic, gunsel, hardnose, hell-raiser, hellcat, hellhound, hellion, holy terror, hood, hoodlum, hostile, hothead, hotspur, imaginative, improved, incendiary, inimical, innovative, insubordinate, insurgent, insurrectionary, insurrectionist, insurrecto, killer, left-wing extremist, lunatic fringe, mad dog, madcap, malcontent, maverick, meliorist, melioristic, metamorphosed, metastasized, mild radical, mildly radical, modified, monster, mugger, mutant, mutineer, mutineering, mutinous, new, nihilist, nihilistic, nonconformist, novel, obstreperous, opposing, oppositional, oppugnant, original, parlor Bolshevik, parlor pink, perverse, pink, pinko, progressionist, progressist, progressive, progressivist, qualified, rabid, radical, rampant, rapist, reactionary, rebel, rebellious, rebuilt, recalcitrant, red, reformational, reformative, reformatory, reformed, reformer, reformist, reformistic, renewed, renitent, repugnant, resistant, revisional, revisionist, revisory, revived, revolter, revolutional, revolutionary junta, revolutioner, revolutionist, revolutionizer, revulsionary, revulsive, rioter, riotous, sans-culotte, sans-culottist, savage, seditionary, seditious, she-wolf, spitfire, subversive, sweeping, syndicalist, termagant, terror, terrorist, tiger, tigress, tough, tough guy, traitor, traitorous, transformed, transilient, translated, transmuted, treasonable, turbulent, ugly customer, ultra, ultraconservative, ultraist, ultraistic, unbridled, underived, unique, unmitigated, unruly, utopian, utopist, violent, virago, vixen, wild, wild beast, witch, wolf, worse, yippie
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