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Revolt vs. Revolution — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 28, 2023
"Revolt" refers to an act of rebellion or protest against authority, while "Revolution" denotes a significant and often violent change in a society's political, economic, or social structure.
Revolt vs. Revolution — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Revolt and Revolution

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Key Differences

"Revolt" commonly describes a resistance or protest against established authority or order. It might not necessarily result in lasting change and can be either peaceful or violent in nature. On the other hand, "Revolution" implies a broader, often profound transformation in the structures of a society, typically associated with significant political, economic, or social upheavals.
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Oct 28, 2023
In terms of scale, a "Revolt" may be localized, involving a specific group or community rebelling against a particular issue or authority. "Revolution," however, usually encompasses a larger section of the population and seeks to fundamentally change the existing systems or ideologies.
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From a historical context, a "Revolt" might be a short-lived rebellion that doesn’t achieve its objectives or only brings about minor changes. In contrast, a "Revolution" is remembered for its transformative effects on a society, often ushering in new eras or systems of governance.
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Oct 28, 2023
While both terms are rooted in the idea of challenging the status quo, their implications differ. A "Revolt" might be a precursor to a "Revolution," but not every revolt leads to a revolution. Conversely, every "Revolution" typically involves multiple acts of revolt but goes beyond them to produce systemic change.
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Oct 28, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

An act of rebellion against authority
A profound change in a society's structure
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Scale

Can be localized
Encompasses a larger section of the population
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Duration & Impact

Might be short-lived with minor changes
Long-term, leading to transformative effects
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Historical Context

Often a specific act or series of acts
Marks significant epochs or eras
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Relationship

Can be a precursor
Typically involves and transcends multiple revolts
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Compare with Definitions

Revolt

A strong negative reaction or rejection by a person or group.
The new policy caused a revolt among the employees.
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Revolution

The overthrow of a government or ruler by the governed and its replacement with another.
The revolution in the small country was swift and decisive.
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Revolt

A refusal to obey orders or accept norms.
The prisoners were in a state of revolt.
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Revolution

A significant change in the political, economic, or social order of a society.
The French Revolution dramatically altered the course of history.
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Revolt

A feeling of disgust or repulsion.
The sight of the injury caused a sense of revolt in him.
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Revolution

In political science, a revolution (Latin: revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression (political, social, economic) or political incompetence. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) described two types of political revolution: Complete change from one constitution to another Modification of an existing constitution.Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideology.
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Revolt

An act of rebellion against an established order or authority.
The peasants led a revolt against the oppressive regime.
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Revolution

Orbital motion about a point, especially as distinguished from axial rotation
The planetary revolution about the sun.
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Revolt

To attempt to overthrow the authority of the state; rebel.
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Revolution

A turning or rotational motion about an axis.
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Revolt

To oppose or refuse to accept something
Revolting against high taxes.
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Revolution

A single complete cycle of such orbital or axial motion.
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Revolt

To feel disgust or repugnance
Was revolted by the gory movie.
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Revolution

The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another.
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Revolt

To fill with disgust or abhorrence; repel.
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Revolution

A sudden or momentous change in a situation
The revolution in computer technology.
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Revolt

An uprising, especially against state authority; a rebellion.
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Revolution

(Geology) A time of major crustal deformation, when folds and faults are formed.
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Revolt

An act of protest or rejection.
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Revolution

A political upheaval in a government or state characterized by great change.
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Revolt

The state of a person or persons in rebellion
Students in revolt over administrative policies.
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Revolution

The removal and replacement of a government, especially by sudden violent action.
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Revolt

To rebel, particularly against authority.
The farmers had to revolt against the government to get what they deserved.
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Revolution

Rotation: the turning of an object around an axis, one complete turn of an object during rotation.
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Revolt

To repel greatly.
Your brother revolts me!
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Revolution

In the case of celestial bodies, the traversal of one body along an orbit around another body.
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Revolt

To cause to turn back; to roll or drive back; to put to flight.
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Revolution

A sudden, vast change in a situation, a discipline, or the way of thinking and behaving.
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Revolt

(intransitive) To be disgusted, shocked, or grossly offended; hence, to feel nausea; used with at.
The stomach revolts at such food; his nature revolts at cruelty.
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Revolution

A round of periodic changes, such as between the seasons of the year.
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Revolt

To turn away; to abandon or reject something; specifically, to turn away, or shrink, with abhorrence.
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Revolution

Consideration of an idea; the act of revolving something in the mind.
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Revolt

An act of revolt.
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Revolution

The act of revolving, or turning round on an axis or a center; the motion of a body round a fixed point or line; rotation; as, the revolution of a wheel, of a top, of the earth on its axis, etc.
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Revolt

To turn away; to abandon or reject something; specifically, to turn away, or shrink, with abhorrence.
But this got by casting pearl to hogs,That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,And still revolt when trith would set them free.
His clear intelligence revolted from the dominant sophisms of that time.
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Revolution

Return to a point before occupied, or to a point relatively the same; a rolling back; return; as, revolution in an ellipse or spiral.
That fearComes thundering back, with dreadful revolution,On my defenseless head.
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Revolt

Hence, to be faithless; to desert one party or leader for another; especially, to renounce allegiance or subjection; to rise against a government; to rebel.
Our discontented counties do revolt.
Plant those that have revolted in the van.
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Revolution

The space measured by the regular return of a revolving body; the period made by the regular recurrence of a measure of time, or by a succession of similar events.
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Revolt

To be disgusted, shocked, or grossly offended; hence, to feel nausea; - with at; as, the stomach revolts at such food; his nature revolts at cruelty.
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Revolution

The motion of any body, as a planet or satellite, in a curved line or orbit, until it returns to the same point again, or to a point relatively the same; - designated as the annual, anomalistic, nodical, sidereal, or tropical revolution, according as the point of return or completion has a fixed relation to the year, the anomaly, the nodes, the stars, or the tropics; as, the revolution of the earth about the sun; the revolution of the moon about the earth.
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Revolt

To cause to turn back; to roll or drive back; to put to flight.
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Revolution

The motion of a point, line, or surface about a point or line as its center or axis, in such a manner that a moving point generates a curve, a moving line a surface (called a surface of revolution), and a moving surface a solid (called a solid of revolution); as, the revolution of a right-angled triangle about one of its sides generates a cone; the revolution of a semicircle about the diameter generates a sphere.
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Revolt

To do violence to; to cause to turn away or shrink with abhorrence; to shock; as, to revolt the feelings.
This abominable medley is made rather to revolt young and ingenuous minds.
To derive delight from what inflicts pain on any sentient creatuure revolted his conscience and offended his reason.
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Revolution

A total or radical change; as, a revolution in one's circumstances or way of living.
The ability . . . of the great philosopher speedily produced a complete revolution throughout the department.
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Revolt

The act of revolting; an uprising against legitimate authority; especially, a renunciation of allegiance and subjection to a government; rebellion; as, the revolt of a province of the Roman empire.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
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Revolution

A fundamental change in political organization, or in a government or constitution; the overthrow or renunciation of one government, and the substitution of another, by the governed.
The violence of revolutions is generally proportioned to the degree of the maladministration which has produced them.
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Revolt

A revolter.
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Revolution

A drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving;
The industrial revolution was also a cultural revolution
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Revolt

Organized opposition to authority; a conflict in which one faction tries to wrest control from another
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Revolution

The overthrow of a government by those who are governed
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Revolt

Make revolution;
The people revolted when bread prices tripled again
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Revolution

A single complete turn (axial or orbital);
The plane made three rotations before it crashed
The revolution of the earth about the sun takes one year
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Revolt

Fill with distaste;
This spoilt food disgusts me
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Revolution

A dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, or operation.
The digital revolution has changed how we communicate.
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Revolt

Cause aversion in; offend the moral sense of;
The pornographic pictures sickened us
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Revolution

A single orbit of one object around another or about an axis or center.
Earth completes one revolution around the sun every year.
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Revolt

An uprising, especially of troops or sailors against their officers.
The captain faced a revolt from his mutinous crew.
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Revolution

The movement of an object in a circular or elliptical course.
The revolution of the wheels propelled the car forward.
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Common Curiosities

What's the primary distinction between revolt and revolution?

A revolt is an act of rebellion, while a revolution implies a broader and often lasting change in society.
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Can revolutions be non-political?

Yes, revolutions can be social, economic, or even technological, like the Industrial Revolution.
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Are all revolutions violent?

No, some revolutions are relatively peaceful, like the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.
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Can there be a revolution without any revolts?

Typically, revolutions involve multiple acts of revolt, but the key is that they result in systemic change.
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Is every revolution successful?

No, some revolutions might not achieve their objectives or might be suppressed.
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Can a minor act of dissent be termed as a revolt?

While dissent is a form of protest, not every minor act of dissent qualifies as a revolt, which usually implies a larger-scale rebellion.
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Is a revolt always violent?

No, a revolt can be either peaceful or violent, depending on the methods used.
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Does every revolt lead to a revolution?

No, not every revolt results in a revolution. Some revolts might be suppressed or might not achieve their broader objectives.
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How does a revolution impact society?

Revolutions can profoundly alter societal structures, governance, economics, and culture.
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Can a revolt be against non-political entities?

Yes, a revolt can be against any form of established authority or norm, not just political ones.
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Can a revolt be spontaneous?

Yes, revolts can be spontaneous reactions to oppressive situations or sudden events.
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Do all societies experience revolutions?

Not necessarily, but many societies have experienced one or more revolutions at some point in their history.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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