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 Dictionary entry overview: What does revolutionary mean? 

  The noun REVOLUTIONARY has 1 sense:

1. a radical supporter of political or social revolution

  Familiarity information: REVOLUTIONARY used as a noun is very rare.

  The adjective REVOLUTIONARY has 4 senses:

1. markedly new or introducing radical change
2. of or relating to or characteristic or causing an axial or orbital turn
3. relating to or having the nature of a revolution
4. advocating or engaged in revolution

  Familiarity information: REVOLUTIONARY used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1revolutionary [BACK TO TOP]


A radical supporter of political or social revolution

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people


revolutionary; revolutionist; subversive; subverter

Hypernyms ("revolutionary" is a kind of...):

radical (a person who has radical ideas or opinions)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "revolutionary"):

counter-revolutionist; counterrevolutionary; counterrevolutionist (a revolutionary whose aim is to reverse the changes introduced by an earlier revolution)

dynamiter; dynamitist (a person who uses dynamite in a revolutionary cause)

Girondin; Girondist (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))

Instance hyponyms:

Comte de Mirabeau; Honore-Gabriel Victor Riqueti; Mirabeau (French revolutionary who was prominent in the early days of the French Revolution (1749-1791))

Maxmillien Marie Isidore de Robespierre; Robespierre (French revolutionary; leader of the Jacobins and architect of the Reign of Terror; was himself executed in a coup d'etat (1758-1794))

Leon Trotsky; Lev Davidovich Bronstein; Trotsky (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))

Doroteo Arango; Francisco Villa; Pancho Villa; Villa (Mexican revolutionary leader (1877-1923))

Emiliano Zapata; Zapata (Mexican revolutionary who led a revolt for agrarian reforms (1879-1919))

Karl Marx; Marx (founder of modern communism; wrote the Communist Manifesto with Engels in 1848; wrote Das Kapital in 1867 (1818-1883))

Jose Julian Marti; Marti (Cuban poet and revolutionary who fought for Cuban independence from Spain (1853-1895))

Jean Paul Marat; 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))

Mao; Mao Tsetung; Mao Zedong (Chinese communist leader (1893-1976))

Che Guevara; Ernesto Guevara; Guevara (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))

Danton; 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))

Charlotte Corday; Corday; Marie Anne Charlotte Corday d'Armont (French revolutionary heroine (a Girondist) who assassinated Marat (1768-1793))

Chou En-lai; Zhou En-lai (Chinese revolutionary and communist leader (1898-1976))


Sense 1revolutionary [BACK TO TOP]


Markedly new or introducing radical change


revolutionary; radical

Context examples:

a revolutionary discovery / radical political views


new (not of long duration; having just (or relatively recently) come into being or been made or acquired or discovered)

Sense 2revolutionary [BACK TO TOP]


Of or relating to or characteristic or causing an axial or orbital turn

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)


rotatory; revolutionary


revolution (a single complete turn (axial or orbital))

Sense 3revolutionary [BACK TO TOP]


Relating to or having the nature of a revolution

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Context examples:

revolutionary wars / the Revolutionary era


revolution (the overthrow of a government by those who are governed)

Sense 4revolutionary [BACK TO TOP]


Advocating or engaged in revolution

Context examples:

revolutionary pamphlets / a revolutionary junta


counterrevolutionary (marked by opposition or antipathy to revolution)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Fine feathers make fine birds." (English proverb)

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"Only the tent pitched by your own hands will stand." (Arabic proverb)

"As you make your bed, so you must lie in it." (Czech proverb)

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