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adjective in·so·lent \ˈin(t)-s(ə-)lənt\

Simple Definition of insolent

  • : rude or impolite : having or showing a lack of respect for other people

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of insolent

  1. 1 :  insultingly contemptuous in speech or conduct :  overbearing

  2. 2 :  exhibiting boldness or effrontery :  impudent

insolent noun
insolently adverb

Examples of insolent in a sentence

  1. … the tempos were all-out fast and the tone was flat-out insolent. To some, rock-and-roll was as threatening as Communism and desegregation. —Margo Jefferson, New York Times, 26 Oct. 1994

  2. Sweating, cursing the whole Mickey Mouse operation, they paced themselves with their own insolent complaints while the foreman cursed loudest … —Jayne Anne Phillips, Granta, Spring 1991

  3. They could go days without food or water; they could withstand burning heat … ; and if they were horribly cruel to their captives, they could themselves accept torture with insolent defiance. —James A. Michener, Texas, 1985

  4. Insolent behavior will not be tolerated.

  5. <an appallingly insolent reply to a reasonable request>

Origin of insolent

Middle English, from Latin insolent-, insolens unaccustomed, overbearing, from in- + solens, present participle of solēre to be accustomed; perhaps akin to Latin sodalis comrade — more at sib

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of insolent

proud, arrogant, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, disdainful mean showing scorn for inferiors. proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness <too proud to take charity>. arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted <a conceited and arrogant executive>. haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position <a haughty aristocrat>. lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power <a lordly condescension>. insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness <ignored by an insolent waiter>. overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence <an overbearing supervisor>. supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness <an aloof and supercilious manner>. disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness <disdainful of their social inferiors>.

INSOLENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·so·lent \ˈin-sə-lənt\

Definition of insolent for Students

  1. :  showing lack of respect for rank or authority

insolently adverb

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