(CNN)In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob, US elected officials, world leaders and commentators have condemned the actions of the President and those who participated.

Many of their statements use various words to refer to what took place — “insurrection,” “sedition” and “coup.” Here’s a breakdown of what those terms mean.InsurrectionThe words “insurrection” and “insurrectionists” are being widely used by news outlets and others to define the storming of the Capitol building and the rioters involved. Read MoreThis is what it looks like when toxic White privilege is left unchecked  This is what it looks like when toxic White privilege is left unchecked  This is what it looks like when toxic White privilege is left unchecked According to Merriam-Webster, “insurrection” is the “act of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” Other definitions, like that of the Cambridge Dictionary, specify the act is usually a violent one. Synonyms include “revolt” or “uprising,” according to Merriam-Webster.”What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States,” Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, said in his remarks on the Senate floor late Wednesday night after the Capitol was secured. Insurrection, or rebellion, is a crime under Title 18 of the US Code, punishable by a fine, a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, or both. Being found guilty of insurrection also makes someone ineligible to hold office in the United States. Sedition”Sedition” is the “incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority,” according to Merriam-Webster. Among those who used the word Wednesday was President-elect Joe Biden, who said the Capitol riot “borders on sedition, and it must end now.” Similar to insurrection, the act of sedition is also a crime under the US Code, which characterizes it as two or more people who conspire to overthrow the US government, or “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution” of US law by force. It’s punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison. Some elected officials have leveled the accusation of sedition squarely at President Trump, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, California, and a former federal prosecutor. In a statement, he said that the President “should be tried for sedition.”A rioter holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol near the Senate chamber on Wednesday, January 6.A rioter holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol near the Senate chamber on Wednesday, January 6. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA rioter holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol near the Senate chamber on Wednesday, January 6.Hide Caption 1 of 44Members of the DC National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday night after the riots.Members of the DC National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday night after the riots. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressMembers of the DC National Guard stand outside the Capitol on Wednesday night after the riots.Hide Caption 2 of 44Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House chamber after the Capitol was breached.Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House chamber after the Capitol was breached. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressLaw enforcement officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House chamber after the Capitol was breached.Hide Caption 3 of 44A rioter hangs from a balcony in the Senate chamber.A rioter hangs from a balcony in the Senate chamber. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA rioter hangs from a balcony in the Senate chamber.Hide Caption 4 of 44Trump supporters cover their faces after tear gas was fired in front of the Capitol.Trump supporters cover their faces after tear gas was fired in front of the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters cover their faces after tear gas was fired in front of the Capitol.Hide Caption 5 of 44US Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, comforts US Rep. Susan Wild, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, while taking cover in the House chamber on Wednesday.US Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, comforts US Rep. Susan Wild, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, while taking cover in the House chamber on Wednesday. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressUS Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, comforts US Rep. Susan Wild, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, while taking cover in the House chamber on Wednesday.Hide Caption 6 of 44Richard "Bigo" Barnett, the leader of a pro-gun rights group in Gravette, Arkansas, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/insurrection-capitol-extremist-groups-invs/index.html" target="_blank">sits inside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.</a> Barnett later showed reporters an envelope that he said he took from Pelosi's desk. Richard "Bigo" Barnett, the leader of a pro-gun rights group in Gravette, Arkansas, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/insurrection-capitol-extremist-groups-invs/index.html" target="_blank">sits inside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.</a> Barnett later showed reporters an envelope that he said he took from Pelosi's desk. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressRichard “Bigo” Barnett, the leader of a pro-gun rights group in Gravette, Arkansas, sits inside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Barnett later showed reporters an envelope that he said he took from Pelosi’s desk. Hide Caption 7 of 44Papers and other materials litter the House chamber after it was evacuated.Papers and other materials litter the House chamber after it was evacuated. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPapers and other materials litter the House chamber after it was evacuated.Hide Caption 8 of 44A Trump supporter carries a Confederate battle flag in the Capitol Rotunda.A Trump supporter carries a Confederate battle flag in the Capitol Rotunda. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA Trump supporter carries a Confederate battle flag in the Capitol Rotunda.Hide Caption 9 of 44Congressional staffers put up a barricade inside the Capitol after rioters breached the building.Congressional staffers put up a barricade inside the Capitol after rioters breached the building. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressCongressional staffers put up a barricade inside the Capitol after rioters breached the building.Hide Caption 10 of 44Tear gas is deployed as rioters gather outside the Capitol.Tear gas is deployed as rioters gather outside the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTear gas is deployed as rioters gather outside the Capitol.Hide Caption 11 of 44Capitol Police detain rioters outside of the House chamber.Capitol Police detain rioters outside of the House chamber. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressCapitol Police detain rioters outside of the House chamber.Hide Caption 12 of 44Trump supporters storm the Capitol during clashes with police.Trump supporters storm the Capitol during clashes with police. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters storm the Capitol during clashes with police.Hide Caption 13 of 44Rioters walk through the Capitol after breaching barricades to the building.Rioters walk through the Capitol after breaching barricades to the building. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressRioters walk through the Capitol after breaching barricades to the building.Hide Caption 14 of 44Members of Congress run for cover as rioters try to enter the House chamber.Members of Congress run for cover as rioters try to enter the House chamber. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressMembers of Congress run for cover as rioters try to enter the House chamber.Hide Caption 15 of 44Congressional staffers hold up their hands while Capitol Police SWAT teams secure the US Capitol.Congressional staffers hold up their hands while Capitol Police SWAT teams secure the US Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressCongressional staffers hold up their hands while Capitol Police SWAT teams secure the US Capitol.Hide Caption 16 of 44One of <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/insurrection-capitol-extremist-groups-invs/index.html" target="_blank">the most recognizable figures in the crowd</a> was a man in his 30s with a painted face, fur hat and a helmet with horns. The protester, Jake Angeli — known by followers as the QAnon Shaman — quickly became a symbol of the bizarre and frightening spectacle. In recent months, Angeli has been a regular presence at pro-Trump protests in Arizona, including demonstrations outside the Maricopa County vote-counting center.One of <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/insurrection-capitol-extremist-groups-invs/index.html" target="_blank">the most recognizable figures in the crowd</a> was a man in his 30s with a painted face, fur hat and a helmet with horns. The protester, Jake Angeli — known by followers as the QAnon Shaman — quickly became a symbol of the bizarre and frightening spectacle. In recent months, Angeli has been a regular presence at pro-Trump protests in Arizona, including demonstrations outside the Maricopa County vote-counting center. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressOne of the most recognizable figures in the crowd was a man in his 30s with a painted face, fur hat and a helmet with horns. The protester, Jake Angeli — known by followers as the QAnon Shaman — quickly became a symbol of the bizarre and frightening spectacle. In recent months, Angeli has been a regular presence at pro-Trump protests in Arizona, including demonstrations outside the Maricopa County vote-counting center.Hide Caption 17 of 44Police keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol on Wednesday.Police keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol on Wednesday. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPolice keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol on Wednesday.Hide Caption 18 of 44A Trump supporter sits at a desk after invading the Capitol.A Trump supporter sits at a desk after invading the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA Trump supporter sits at a desk after invading the Capitol.Hide Caption 19 of 44Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol.Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol.Hide Caption 20 of 44People take shelter in the House chamber as rioters try to break in. House members were given gas masks that were under the seats, according to a pool reporter on the House floor.People take shelter in the House chamber as rioters try to break in. House members were given gas masks that were under the seats, according to a pool reporter on the House floor. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPeople take shelter in the House chamber as rioters try to break in. House members were given gas masks that were under the seats, according to a pool reporter on the House floor.Hide Caption 21 of 44Trump supporters stand on a Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol.Trump supporters stand on a Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters stand on a Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol.Hide Caption 22 of 44US Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Annie Kuster take cover while rioters were in the Capitol.US Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Annie Kuster take cover while rioters were in the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressUS Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Annie Kuster take cover while rioters were in the Capitol.Hide Caption 23 of 44A crowd of Trump supporters can be seen from inside the Capitol.A crowd of Trump supporters can be seen from inside the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA crowd of Trump supporters can be seen from inside the Capitol.Hide Caption 24 of 44A Capitol Police officer sprays a person who was trying to enter the Capitol.A Capitol Police officer sprays a person who was trying to enter the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA Capitol Police officer sprays a person who was trying to enter the Capitol.Hide Caption 25 of 44A rioter sits in the Senate chamber.A rioter sits in the Senate chamber. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressA rioter sits in the Senate chamber.Hide Caption 26 of 44Trump supporters climb a wall outside the Capitol.Trump supporters climb a wall outside the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters climb a wall outside the Capitol.Hide Caption 27 of 44Trump supporters gesture to Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber.Trump supporters gesture to Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters gesture to Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber.Hide Caption 28 of 44People bring a ladder to help them break into the Capitol.People bring a ladder to help them break into the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPeople bring a ladder to help them break into the Capitol.Hide Caption 29 of 44Trump supporters walk through the Capitol's Statuary Hall.Trump supporters walk through the Capitol's Statuary Hall. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters walk through the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.Hide Caption 30 of 44People evacuate the House chamber as rioters attempt to break in.People evacuate the House chamber as rioters attempt to break in. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPeople evacuate the House chamber as rioters attempt to break in.Hide Caption 31 of 44Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol. Shortly after 1 p.m., some pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear.Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol. Shortly after 1 p.m., some pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters try to break through a police barrier outside the Capitol. Shortly after 1 p.m., some pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear.Hide Caption 32 of 44Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol.Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters gather outside the Capitol.Hide Caption 33 of 44Capitol Police tries to hold back people outside the east doors to the House side of the Capitol.Capitol Police tries to hold back people outside the east doors to the House side of the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressCapitol Police tries to hold back people outside the east doors to the House side of the Capitol.Hide Caption 34 of 44Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier.Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters try to break through a police barrier.Hide Caption 35 of 44Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officiate the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Congress was meeting to count and certify the Electoral College votes before the Capitol was breached.Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officiate the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Congress was meeting to count and certify the Electoral College votes before the Capitol was breached. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressVice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officiate the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Congress was meeting to count and certify the Electoral College votes before the Capitol was breached.Hide Caption 36 of 44Republicans applaud after US Rep. Paul Gosar, lower right, objected to certifying the Electoral College votes from Arizona.Republicans applaud after US Rep. Paul Gosar, lower right, objected to certifying the Electoral College votes from Arizona. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressRepublicans applaud after US Rep. Paul Gosar, lower right, objected to certifying the Electoral College votes from Arizona.Hide Caption 37 of 44The certification of Arizona's Electoral College votes is unsealed during Wednesday's joint session of Congress.The certification of Arizona's Electoral College votes is unsealed during Wednesday's joint session of Congress. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressThe certification of Arizona’s Electoral College votes is unsealed during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress.Hide Caption 38 of 44Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blows a kiss to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrive for Wednesday's session.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blows a kiss to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrive for Wednesday's session. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blows a kiss to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrive for Wednesday’s session.Hide Caption 39 of 44Congress begins its joint session on Wednesday.Congress begins its joint session on Wednesday. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressCongress begins its joint session on Wednesday.Hide Caption 40 of 44Trump arrives to speak to his supporters on Wednesday. His speech included calls for his vice president to step outside his constitutional bounds and overturn the results of the election. "Hope Mike is going to do the right thing," Trump said at the rally. "If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election."Trump arrives to speak to his supporters on Wednesday. His speech included calls for his vice president to step outside his constitutional bounds and overturn the results of the election. "Hope Mike is going to do the right thing," Trump said at the rally. "If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election." Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump arrives to speak to his supporters on Wednesday. His speech included calls for his vice president to step outside his constitutional bounds and overturn the results of the election. “Hope Mike is going to do the right thing,” Trump said at the rally. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”Hide Caption 41 of 44People rally near the White House in support of Trump.People rally near the White House in support of Trump. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressPeople rally near the White House in support of Trump.Hide Caption 42 of 44Chamber assistants carry Electoral College ballot boxes at the Capitol.Chamber assistants carry Electoral College ballot boxes at the Capitol. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressChamber assistants carry Electoral College ballot boxes at the Capitol.Hide Caption 43 of 44Trump supporters participate in a rally near the White House on Wednesday.Trump supporters participate in a rally near the White House on Wednesday. Photos: Pro-Trump rioters breach the US Capitol on historic day in CongressTrump supporters participate in a rally near the White House on Wednesday.Hide Caption 44 of 4404 electoral college vote protests 010636 electoral college vote protest 010603 house chamber 010611 electoral college vote protest 010623 electoral college vote protest 110619 electoral college vote protests17 electoral college vote protests 010606 house chamber 010601 capitol confederate flag 010645 electoral college vote protest 010621 electoral college vote protests 010601 capitol protestors arrested 010634 electoral college vote protest 010637 electoral college vote protest 010601 house chamber 010640 electoral college vote protest 010601 Jake Angeli capitol 010618 electoral college vote protests 010611 electoral college vote protests 010646 electoral college vote protest 010604 house chamber 010605 electoral college vote protests 010638 electoral college vote protest 010641 electoral college vote protest 010612 electoral college vote protests 0106 RESTRICTED42 electoral college vote protest 010615 electoral college vote protests 010622  electoral college vote protests 010644 electoral colleve vote protest 010614 electoral college vote protests 010639 electoral college vote protest 010603 electoral college vote protests 010618 electoral college vote proteststrump rally protesters u.s. capitol 0106 19 electoral college vote protests 010603 electoral college vote count 0106 pence pelosi06 electoral college vote count 0106 az objection15 electoral college vote cuont 0106 ariznoa19 electoral college vote count 0106 Schumer McConnell13 electoral college vote count 010603 trump speaks DC protest 010605 trump rallies 0106 washington DC05 electoral college vote count 0106 ballot boxes RESTRICTED06 trump rallies 0106 washington DCCoupA “coup,” shorthand for “coup d’état,” is broadly characterized by Merriam-Webster as a “sudden decisive exercise of force in politics,” but particularly the “violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.” Fears over unstable Trump's fitness for office in final dangerous daysFears over unstable Trump's fitness for office in final dangerous daysFears over unstable Trump's fitness for office in final dangerous daysSome have described Wednesday’s event as a “failed” or “attempted” coup, since apparent efforts to overturn the presidential election have been unsuccessful.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, wrote in a statement Wednesday evening: “We must call today’s violence what it actually is: a failed attempt at a coup.”Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the impeachment hearings against President Trump, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday he thought the events at the Capitol could be categorized as a “failed coup.”

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