im·​per·​ti·​nence | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpər-tə-nən(t)s How to pronounce impertinence (audio) , -ˈpərt-nən(t)s \

Definition of impertinence

1 : the quality or state of being impertinent: such as
2 : an instance of impertinence

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Examples of impertinence in a Sentence

a disciplinarian of the old school, he refused to tolerate any impertinence from his children the impertinence of deliberately ignoring waiting customers while they finished their conversation
Recent Examples on the Web Slim glinted dangerously at her granddaughter and swallowed the girl’s impertinence up with a laugh. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2021 Some might see this as youthful impertinence combined with an awkward metaphor. Jack Handey, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2021 Frank Chapman, the museum’s bird curator and the founding editor of Bird-Lore, the Audubon association magazine, rose from the audience to furiously condemn the pamphlet, its authors and Edge’s impertinence. Melissa Groo, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 In less hectic times censors would swiftly stamp out such impertinence. The Economist, 30 Jan. 2020 Somehow, Arnautoff’s impertinence was overlooked at the time. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Nike compounded their impertinence by announcing withdrawal of production for facile reasoning that it could be seen as racist symbol. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 July 2019 By his late 30s, the same piercing humor and cool impertinence that had marked his ascent up the social ladder also marked his descent into disgrace. Ignacio Peyró, National Geographic, 18 June 2019 Carrie Compere also impresses mightily as Sofia, badly beaten for her perceived impertinence. Tom Titus,, 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impertinence.' 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 impertinence

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for impertinence

Time Traveler

The first known use of impertinence was in 1582

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Statistics for impertinence

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impertinence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for impertinence


im·​per·​ti·​nence | \ im-ˈpər-tə-nəns How to pronounce impertinence (audio) \

Kids Definition of impertinence

: the quality or state of being very rude or disrespectful


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