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adjective im·per·ti·nent \(ˌ)im-ˈpər-tə-nənt, -ˈpərt-nənt\

Simple Definition of impertinent

  • : rude and showing a lack of respect

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of impertinent

  1. 1 :  not pertinent :  irrelevant

  2. 2 a :  not restrained within due or proper bounds especially of propriety or good taste <impertinent curiosity> b :  given to or characterized by insolent rudeness <an impertinent answer>

impertinently adverb

Examples of impertinent in a sentence

  1. She asked a few impertinent questions.

  2. <the impertinent child had a smart answer for everything>

Did You Know?

English speakers adopted both impertinent and pertinent from Anglo-French in the 14th century. Both words derive from the present participle of the Latin verb pertinēre, meaning "to pertain." Initially, impertinent was used for things that are simply not relevant. Over time, it came to be used of things that are not only irrelevant but rudely or inappropriately so, and later for people who are just straight-out rude.

Origin of impertinent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin impertinent-, impertinens, from Latin in- + pertinent-, pertinens, present participle of pertinēre to pertain

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of impertinent

impertinent, officious, meddlesome, intrusive, obtrusive mean given to thrusting oneself into the affairs of others. impertinent implies exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice <resented their impertinent interference>. officious implies the offering of services or attentions that are unwelcome or annoying <officious friends made the job harder>. meddlesome stresses an annoying and usually prying interference in others' affairs <a meddlesome landlord>. intrusive implies a tactless or otherwise objectionable thrusting into others' affairs <tried to be helpful without being intrusive>. obtrusive stresses improper or offensive conspicuousness of interfering actions <expressed an obtrusive concern for his safety>.

IMPERTINENT Defined for Kids


adjective im·per·ti·nent \im-ˈpər-tə-nənt\

Definition of impertinent for Students

  1. :  very rude :  having or showing a lack of respect <an impertinent question>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up impertinent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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