as·​i·​nine | \ˈa-sə-ˌnīn \

Definition of asinine 

1 : extremely or utterly foolish or silly an asinine excuse

2 : of, relating to, or resembling an ass

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Other Words from asinine

asininely adverb
asininity \ ˌa-​sə-​ˈni-​nə-​tē \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Aside from the asinine name, in practice these usually turn out to be artisanally rendered fruit punches. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Finally: What to Drink When You're Not Drinking," 1 June 2018 Hopefully the physics of that act would dissuade your first-time builder from copying such an asinine action, or an external tutorial would teach them the right way. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "PC Building Simulator might be one of the most important DIY enthusiast tools ever created," 31 Mar. 2018 This perplexing nod might beef up Norwell’s market value, and his franchise-tag number is already inflated by the NFL’s asinine practice of lumping all linemen into the same pricing category. Andy Benoit,, "Ranking the NFL's Neediest Teams," 9 Feb. 2018 Moss, unfortunately, has become an emblem of junk art, having appeared in one of the most inept films ever made (Queen of Earth) and some of the most asinine television (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale). Armond White, National Review, "The Square Might Be the Film of the Year," 27 Oct. 2017 Braying in both human and asinine form, Danny Burstein munches the scenery marvelously. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as Light as the Open Air," 31 July 2017 Our town officials need to just STOP with these asinine ideas and leave things alone. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "A small town fuss erupts: Does Waxhaw have a ‘water tower’ or ‘water tank’?," 19 June 2017 Its ridiculous ‘90s VHS tape tutorial, which takes the form of a company training video, complete with awkward pauses and asinine advice. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Square Enix abandons Hitman, Assassin's Creed rumors point to Egypt," 12 May 2017 For the courts to keep their citizens out of a large section of the public sphere just because a tiny bit of it is objectionable is asinine. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "Turkey Blocks WordPress Access at Request of Creationist Cult Leader," 21 Aug. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asinine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of asinine

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for asinine

Latin asininus, from asinus ass

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Dictionary Entries near asinine





as intended



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

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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