guerrilla

[guh-ril-uh]
noun
1.
a member of a band of irregular soldiers that uses guerrilla warfare, harassing the enemy by surprise raids, sabotaging communication and supply lines, etc.
adjective
2.
pertaining to such fighters or their technique of warfare: guerrilla strongholds; guerrilla tactics.
Also, guerilla.


Origin:
1800–10; < Spanish, diminutive of guerra war (< Germanic; cf. war1); orig. in reference to the Spanish resistance against Napoleon; the name for the struggle erroneously taken as a personal noun

guerrillaism, noun
antiguerrilla, noun, adjective
counterguerrilla, adjective

gorilla, guerrilla.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
guerrilla or guerilla (ɡəˈrɪlə)
 
n
1.  a.  a member of an irregular usually politically motivated armed force that combats stronger regular forces, such as the army or police
 b.  (as modifier): guerrilla warfare
2.  Compare phalanx a form of vegetative spread in which the advance is from several individual rhizomes or stolons growing rapidly away from the centre, as in some clovers
 
[C19: from Spanish, diminutive of guerrawar]
 
guerilla or guerilla
 
n
 
[C19: from Spanish, diminutive of guerrawar]
 
guer'rillaism or guerilla
 
n
 
gue'rillaism or guerilla
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

guerrilla
1809, from Sp. guerrilla "body of skirmishers, skirmishing warfare," lit. "little war," dim. of guerra "war," from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. werra "strife, conflict, war;" see war). Acquired by Eng. during the Peninsular War (1808-1814), purists failed in their attempt to keep
this word from taking on the sense properly belonging to guerrillero "guerrilla fighter."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The withdrawal marks the start of a guerrilla war, it said warily.
The drones can circle above an guerrilla encampment for hours without risking a
  pilot.
But, alas, a leftist former guerrilla is president of the country.
These involve encouraging guerrilla desertions and targeting the leadership.
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