as·​i·​nine ˈa-sə-ˌnīn How to pronounce asinine (audio)
: extremely or utterly foolish or silly
an asinine excuse
: of, relating to, or resembling an ass
asininely adverb
asininity noun
Choose the Right Synonym for asinine

simple, foolish, silly, fatuous, asinine mean actually or apparently deficient in intelligence.

simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort.

considered people simple who had trouble with computers

foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense.

foolish stunts

silly suggests failure to act as a rational being especially by ridiculous behavior.

the silly antics of revelers

fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality.

fatuous conspiracy theories

asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception.

an asinine plot

Examples of asinine in a Sentence

… geniuses like Brando strike self and material together in a way that sets off some incomparable spark, radiating so much charisma that they get away with choices that would seem asinine from anyone else. Jeremy McCarter, New York Times Book Review, 4 Jan. 2009
The boss of Wells Fargo has called the solvency tests "asinine". The aim of such behaviour is presumably to convince regulators to focus the coming clampdown on the weakest banks. The Economist, 13-19 June 2009
First the good news: There's one palatable piece of ear candy here, "Rocket O' Love." While the words are asinine ("Shotgun, shing-a-ling/One, two, one two three, hey!!"), it's a hearty … rocker Billy Squier might like to call his own. David Hiltbrand, People Weekly, 11 Mar. 1991
it was asinine to run into the street like that
Recent Examples on the Web Comedy videos about customer service and asinine Atlanta eatery rules were already popular on TikTok but have seen major pickup since Lee’s viral videos. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 1 Nov. 2023 Rogozin's claim that the only evidence Roscosmos could offer of the Moon landings was a book by Leonov is asinine. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 8 May 2023 Damning emails, texts, and deposition testimony made public during the Dominion case revealed that on-air hosts and executives, and many others at Fox, privately said in 2020 that the vote-rigging claims against Dominion were asinine. Jennifer Korn, CNN, 20 Apr. 2023 Leo Frank, the Jewish superintendent of the local pencil factory, thinks the whole event is asinine, but the sticky, creeping quality of that melody should be a warning. Vulture, 16 Mar. 2023 Completely asinine? Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Aug. 2022 Her tweets are predictably asinine. Rebecca Makkai, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 The inflammatory language Abraham uses to score cheap political points against conservatives is simply asinine. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2013 Of all things people should be arrested for this is the most asinine thing. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 30 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'asinine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin asininus, from asinus ass

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of asinine was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near asinine

Cite this Entry

“Asinine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


as·​i·​nine ˈas-ᵊn-ˌīn How to pronounce asinine (audio)
: extremely foolish
an asinine excuse
asininely adverb
asininity noun

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