Simple Definition of insinuate
: to say (something, especially something bad or insulting) in an indirect way
: to gradually make (yourself) a part of a group, a person's life, etc., often by behaving in a dishonest way
Full Definition of insinuate
1 a : to introduce (as an idea) gradually or in a subtle, indirect, or covert way <insinuate doubts into a trusting mind> b : to impart or suggest in an artful or indirect way : imply <I resent what you're insinuating>
2 : to introduce (as oneself) by stealthy, smooth, or artful means
1 archaic : to enter gently, slowly, or imperceptibly : creep
2 archaic : to ingratiate oneself
Examples of insinuate in a sentence
<years were needed for the agent to insinuate himself into the terrorist organization>
<are you insinuating that I won by cheating?>
Did You Know?
The meaning of "insinuate" is similar to that of another verb, "suggest." Whether you "suggest" or "insinuate," you are conveying an idea indirectly. But although these two words share the same basic meaning, each gets the idea across in a different way. When you "suggest," you put something into the mind by associating it with other ideas, desires, or thoughts. You might say, for example, that a book's title suggests what the story is about. "Insinuate," on the other hand, usually includes a sense that the idea being conveyed is unpleasant, or that it is being passed along in a sly or underhanded way.
Origin of insinuate
Latin insinuatus, past participle of insinuare, from in- + sinuare to bend, curve, from sinus curve
First Known Use: 1529
Synonym Discussion of insinuate
suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought <a film title that suggests its subject matter>. imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed <measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent>. hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement <hinted that she might get the job>. intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor <intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye>. insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner <insinuated that there were shady dealings>.
Rhymes with insinuate
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INSINUATE Defined for Kids
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