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From counter- +‎ revolutionary. Originally applied to thinkers who opposed themselves to the 1789 French Revolution.


counterrevolutionary (comparative more counterrevolutionary, superlative most counterrevolutionary)

  1. In opposition to a revolution.
    • 1992, “Data on Pro-Democracy Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners in Hunan Province”, in Anthems of Defeat: Crackdown in Hunan Province, 1989-1992[1], Human Rights Watch, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 155, column 1:
      In early 1990, he was sentenced to two years by the Loudi Prefecture Intermediate Court on a charge of "counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement." He was then sent to Longxi Prison for reform through labor, and has since been released.
    • 2011 March 28, Steven A. Cook, “After the Arab Spring”, in The Atlantic[2]:
      It seems likely that states in the Middle East and North Africa could divide into three camps. [] In the second, Egypt and Tunisia will struggle to realize their revolutionary promise and ideals while resisting the counterrevolutionary forces of the old regimes.
    • 2018 November 3, Hassan Hassan, “The Arab Winter Is Coming”, in The Atlantic[3]:
      To go back in time, as it were, the counterrevolutionary bloc—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and their allies in Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere—believes the future must be more authoritarian than ever.

Related terms[edit]



counterrevolutionary (plural counterrevolutionaries)

  1. A person who opposes a revolution and attempts to reverse the changes made by it.
    • 1967 September 7, “2 Executed in Shanghai As ‘Counterrevolutionaries’”, in The New York Times[4], →ISSN:
      Two “counterrevolutionaries” were sentenced to death and executed publicly before cheering thousands in Shanghai Aug. 28, according to a Shanghai radio report received in Tokyo today.