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[si-dish-uh n] /sɪˈdɪʃ ən/
incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.
any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.
Archaic. rebellious disorder.
Origin of sedition
1325-75; < Latin sēditiōn- (stem of sēditiō), equivalent to sēd- se- + -itiōn- a going (it(us), past participle of īre to go + -iōn- -ion); replacing Middle English sedicioun < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
antisedition, adjective
1. insurrection, mutiny.
Synonym Study
1. See treason. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sedition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • (17:187) We should rather say that sedition ceased than that harmony was re-established.

  • The thought staggered him, and he felt as if he had filled his mind with treason and sedition!

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • You are wanted for sedition, and upon a warrant from M. de Lesdiguieres.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • sedition is talked round every tin of bully beef on the Peninsula.

  • sedition was sedition and treason was treason—you couldn't evade that fact.

    Security Poul William Anderson
British Dictionary definitions for sedition


speech or behaviour directed against the peace of a state
an offence that tends to undermine the authority of a state
an incitement to public disorder
(archaic) revolt
Derived Forms
seditionary, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sēditiō discord, from sēd- apart + itiō a going, from īre to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sedition

mid-14c., "rebellion, uprising, revolt, concerted attempt to overthrow civil authority; violent strife between factions, civil or religious disorder, riot; rebelliousness against authority," from Old French sedicion (14c., Modern French sédition) and directly from Latin seditionem (nominative seditio) "civil disorder, dissention, strife; rebellion, mutiny," literally "a going apart, separation," from se- "apart" (see secret) + itio "a going," from past participle of ire "to go" (see ion).

Meaning "conduct or language inciting to rebellion against a lawful government" is from 1838. An Old English word for it was folcslite. Less serious than treason, as wanting an overt act, "But it is not essential to the offense of sedition that it threaten the very existence of the state or its authority in its entire extent" [Century Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sedition in Culture

sedition definition

Acts that incite rebellion or civil disorder against an established government.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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