A rebellion is, in the most general sense, a refusal to accept authority. It may thus be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors from a mild flouting of social norms to a violent organized attempt to destroy established authority. It is often used to refer to armed resistance to an established government. Those who participate in rebellions are "rebels".
A violent rebellion is sometimes referred to as an insurgency while a larger one may escalate into a civil war. There are a number of terms that fall under the umbrella of "rebel", though they range from those with positive connotations to those that are considered pejorative. Examples, in rough order from complimentary to perjorative, are:
"Mutiny" by mutineers, normally of military or security forces to commanders
"Subversion" by subversives
"Terrorism" by terrorists, refers specifically to the method of avoiding pitched battle
The difference between rebel and terrorist is often subjective. While the term rebel can sometimes have positive connotations as an agent of change, "terrorist" implies destructive action and is always used pejoratively, often by an establishment opposed to rebellious activities.
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