In political science, a reactionary or a reactionist is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which that person believes possessed positive characteristics absent from contemporary society. As a descriptor term, reactionary derives from the ideological context of the left–right political spectrum. As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore a past status quo ante.

In ideology, reactionism is a tradition in right-wing politics; the reactionary stance opposes policies for the social transformation of society, whereas conservatives seek to preserve the socio-economic structure and order that exists in the present. In popular usage, reactionary refers to a strong traditionalist conservative political perspective of a person opposed to social, political, and economic change.

(“Reactionary” 2022)