What does RINO stand for?

Republican in name only

RINO stands for "Republican in name only," which is a way to label a person who identifies as Republican but doesn't really hold Republican ideals. It is pronounced as "rhino" and is often used by people in the Republican party to call out hypocritical or fake Republicans that aren't conservative enough or too radical.

While the "Republican in name only" saying has been around since the 1920s, the "RINO" acronym did not become popular until the 1990s. It was primarily used by U.S. politicians and journalists covering political stories, but also expanded in use by average U.S. citizens who identified as Republican.

It is still used in-person when discussing politics, and especially on social sites, like Twitter and Facebook. One example of when RINO was prominently used was after the 2020 U.S. Presidential election when people claimed some Republicans were RINOs for not supporting Donald Trump's claims of a rigged election, while others called Trump and his supporters RINOs for creating a rift in the Republican party.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, a "Democrat in name only" is shortened as "DINO."


All of these RINOs in Washington are going to be sorry when they are up for re-election!
A RINO tweet

A RINO tweet

Related Slang


Updated December 1, 2020

RINO definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the acronym "RINO" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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