Revolution Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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You’re probably familiar with the American Revolution — a political movement and war that eventually led to American independence from Great Britain — but do you know what the word revolution means? 

Fret not — The Word Counter is here to help!

In this article, we’re providing you with all the information you need to truly understand the meaning behind the word revolution (rev·​o·​lu·​tion/ /re-və-ˈlü-shən). So, if you’re interested in learning the definition and proper usage behind this interesting term — keep reading.  

What Is the Definition of Revolution?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the noun revolution can be defined as a change in the way a country is governed — usually to a different political system and often using violence or war — as well as a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way that people do things. 

When revolution is used in a technical sense, the Britannica Dictionary defines our word of the day as the action of moving around something in a path that’s similar to a circle. It is also commonly used as a noun to reference a single complete turn around a central point — either orbital or axial.

In the case of celestial bodies, however, revolution refers to the transversal of one body through an orbit around another body.  

Momentous Revolutions Throughout History

Now that you understand what a revolution is, let’s take a look at a few momentous examples from around the world:

  • 1760 — The Industrial Revolution
  • 1775 — The American Revolution 
  • 1789 — The French Revolution
  • 1911 — The Chinese Revolution
  • 1917 — The Russian Revolution

What Is the Etymology of Revolution?

Middle English revolution was first noted in the late 14c. It is a derivative of the Old French revolution, as well as the Late Latin revolūtiōn — which also happens to be the stem of the Late Latin revolūtiō.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Revolution?

A great way to become better acquainted with a new word is to research synonyms and antonyms.


A synonym is a term that has nearly or exactly the same meaning as another term. 

  • Gyration 
  • Regime change
  • Rebellion
  • Revolt 
  • Act of defiance 
  • Act of resistance 
  • Rising
  • Uprising
  • Insurgency 
  • Seizure of power
  • Government takeover
  • Mutiny
  • Insurrection 
  • Underground activity 
  • Guerilla activity 
  • Coup d’etat 
  • Orbital motion
  • Dramatic change
  • Reprisal
  • Radical change
  • Coup
  • Innovation
  • Transformation
  • Reformation 
  • Sea change
  • Shake up
  • Complete shift
  • Drastic alteration
  • Remodeling 
  • Reorganization
  • Upheaval
  • Breakaway 
  • Radical alteration 
  • Turning around
  • About-face
  • Flip-flop
  • Violent change
  • Major change
  • New ball game
  • New deal
  • Seismic shift
  • Sudden change
  • Step forward
  • Turnover
  • Upset
  • Shift
  • Restructuring 
  • Leap forward
  • Quantum leap
  • Leap forwards
  • New idea
  • Step in the right direction
  • Turn of events
  • Go against
  • Rebel against
  • Fail to observe
  • Fail to comply with
  • Refuse to obey
  • Fly in the face of
  • Set at naught
  • Set aside
  • Run riot
  • Dig your heels in
  • Cock a snook at
  • Be remiss
  • Renegade
  • Break rules
  • Refuse to comply
  • Rise in arms
  • Go counter to
  • Fly in the face of
  • Pay no attention to
  • Take the law into your own hands 


An antonym is a term with an opposite meaning of another term. 

  • Counterrevolution 
  • Non Aggression
  • Nonviolence 
  • Law and order 
  • Let up
  • Imitation
  • Mimicry
  • Plagiarizing
  • Emulation
  • Replica
  • Forgery
  • Faking
  • Duplication 
  • Lack of progress
  • Lasting nature
  • Stagnation
  • Dormancy
  • Inactivity
  • Inertias
  • Permanence
  • Latency
  • Torpidity 
  • Absence of movement 
  • Good fortune
  • Column
  • Row
  • Chain
  • Lineup
  • Square
  • Line 
  • Good luck
  • Step back
  • Setback
  • Retrogression
  • Cessation 
  • Step backward
  • Giving in
  • Decline
  • Descent
  • Downfall
  • Halt 
  • Give in
  • Admission of defeat
  • Cave in
  • Giving way
  • White flag
  • U-turn
  • Laying down of arms
  • Comply with
  • Concur 
  • Conform 
  • Lack of progress
  • Election
  • Go along
  • Support
  • Harmonize  

How Can You Use Revolution in a Sentence?

Revolution can be defined as an instance of revolving — but how can it be used in a sentence? Here are some examples:

“At the end of the day, both war and revolution have ripped families apart.”

“All I see nowadays is everyone living through their mobile devices. What we need is some sort of cultural revolution — a complete change to really spice things up!” 

“I enjoy a good revolution as much as the next guy, but before we attempt the forcible overthrow of a government, perhaps we should eat a little something. I know that we can all get a bit hangry sometimes, and well — maybe things aren’t so bad?”

“Did you know that the earth makes a yearly revolution around the sun?”

“Today, we talked primarily about the revolution of the Earth around the sun and how it affects farmers in different areas around the globe.” 

“I know you were hoping for some major changes, but while these are small, they are big changes. Honestly, what were you expecting — some sort of revolution?” 

“Wait a minute, how are we supposed to tell the difference between a technological revolution and a social revolution? Did we go over that on the days that I was home sick with chickenpox?” 

“After years of protesting, the group started a revolution.”

What Are Translations of Revolution?

Wondering how to say revolution in a different language? Here are some common translations:

  • American English — revolution 
  • Arabic — ثَوْرَة 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — revolução 
  • Chinese — 革命 
  • Croatian — revolucija 
  • Czech — revoluce 
  • Danish — revolution 
  • Dutch — revolutie 
  • European Spanish — revolución 
  • Finnish — vallankumous 
  • French — révolution 
  • German — Revolution 
  • Latin — revolutio
  • Greek — επανάσταση 
  • Italian — rivoluzione 
  • Japanese — 革命 
  • Korean — 혁명 
  • Norwegian — revolusjon 
  • Polish — rewolucja 
  • European Portuguese — revolução 
  • Romanian — revoluție
  • Russian — революция 
  • Spanish — revolución 
  • Swedish — revolution 
  • Thai — การปฏิวัติ 
  • Turkish — devrim 
  • Ukrainian — революція
  • Vietnamese — cuộc cách mạng  

Bottom Line

Our word of the day can be defined as a sudden or major change — especially in methods or ideas. It can also be defined as a forcible overthrow of a government or social order as well as a complete circular movement of something; for example, a wheel.


Revolution: National Geographic

REVOLUTION | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Revolution Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary