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of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring , especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.
a reactionary person.
Contemporary Examples

Mataconis is correct to note Santorum was merely repeating a tired trope from populist, reactionary conservatism.
The GOP’s Tense Relationship with “Smart People” Justin Green September 16, 2012

It is not hard to see why reactionary populism has proved such a success since the 1970s.
American Political Hate Speech’s Long History Dominic Sandbrook January 14, 2011

That he was neither radical nor reactionary is what made Americans pay attention.
Political Lessons for America From the Man in Black Michael Stewart Foley September 11, 2013

I would say that we are reactionary,” she said in an interview, adding that she wanted to return to “a time of less government.
Ticking Off the Tea Party Crowd Benjamin Sarlin March 3, 2010

reactionary conservatism may be the most popular human pastime other than sex, and it will always have a market.
Uproar Over Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke Attack Should End Because He Doesn’t Matter Jesse Singal March 13, 2012

Historical Examples

He was believed to be responsible for the Czar’s conversion from liberal ideas to reactionary principles.
A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year Edwin Emerson

Decidedly, he ought to have sold himself to the reactionary party.
The Fortune of the Rougons Emile Zola

This is reactionary doctrine, and one of the few points in Shakespeare’s “natural” philosophy which invites dissent.
Shakespeare and the Modern Stage Sir Sidney Lee

Perhaps conservative is not the word; reactionary would be closer.
Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel

Nevertheless, the reactionary attitude, though unintelligent, is intelligible.
The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard

of, relating to, or characterized by reaction, esp against radical political or social change
noun (pl) -aries, -ists
a person opposed to radical change

1831, on model of French réactionnaire (19c.), from réaction (see reaction). In Marxist use, “tending toward reversing existing tendencies,” opposed to revolutionary and used opprobriously in reference to opponents of communism, by 1858. As a noun, “person considered reactionary,” especially in politics, one who seeks to check or undo political action, by 1855.

An extremely conservative person or position that not only resists change but seeks to return to the “good old days” of an earlier social order.


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  • Realism

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    interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical: a realistic estimate of costs; a realistic planner. pertaining to, characterized by, or given to the representation in literature or art of things as they really are: a realistic novel. resembling or simulating real life: a duck hunter skilled at making realistic decoys. […]

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