im·​per·​ti·​nent | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpər-tə-nənt How to pronounce impertinent (audio) , -ˈpərt-nənt \

Definition of impertinent

1a : given to or characterized by insolent rudeness an impertinent answer
b : not restrained within due or proper bounds especially of propriety or good taste impertinent curiosity
2 : not pertinent : irrelevant

Other Words from impertinent

impertinently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for impertinent

impertinent, officious, meddlesome, intrusive, obtrusive mean given to thrusting oneself into the affairs of others. impertinent implies exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice. resented their impertinent interference officious implies the offering of services or attentions that are unwelcome or annoying. officious friends made the job harder meddlesome stresses an annoying and usually prying interference in others' affairs. a meddlesome landlord intrusive implies a tactless or otherwise objectionable thrusting into others' affairs. tried to be helpful without being intrusive obtrusive stresses improper or offensive conspicuousness of interfering actions. expressed an obtrusive concern for his safety

Did you know?

English speakers adopted both impertinent and pertinent from Anglo-French in the 14th century. Both words derive from the present participle of the Latin verb pertinēre, meaning "to pertain." Initially, impertinent was used for things that are simply not relevant. Over time, it came to be used of things that are not only irrelevant but rudely or inappropriately so, and later for people who are just straight-out rude.

Examples of impertinent in a Sentence

She asked a few impertinent questions. the impertinent child had a smart answer for everything
Recent Examples on the Web At the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, Louis poked his tongue out in Kate's face and made an impertinent gesture with his hand, prompting the mother of three to give him a stern look. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 10 July 2022 The founder’s family then made headlines with a brawl that involved an impertinent chauffeur, two stepchildren and a wrench. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 Audiences seek controversy not just to open their minds, not just to annoy their betters, but because to hear impertinent, unapproved talk feels like freedom. WSJ, 1 Feb. 2022 But to make their case, the justices have stepped away from the bench and into the public square, defending the status quo against impertinent, often partisan critics. Joel Mathis, The Week, 1 Oct. 2021 The city’s Ethics Advisory Commission had decided that the statement from Adam Bazaldua violated a rule saying that officials should not make rude or impertinent comments. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2021 There were gleeful pigs decorated with pink flowers and impertinent lions with diamond tails. Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Aug. 2021 Father Byrne got up, exchanged words with the impertinent young man, and returned to his seat. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, 3 Aug. 2021 The series cuts the tension and taboo with keen humor, often bordering on the impertinent, but Sam is never the butt of the joke. Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of impertinent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for impertinent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin impertinent-, impertinens, from Latin in- + pertinent-, pertinens, present participle of pertinēre to pertain

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

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impertinent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for impertinent


im·​per·​ti·​nent | \ im-ˈpər-tə-nənt How to pronounce impertinent (audio) \

Kids Definition of impertinent

: very rude : having or showing a lack of respect an impertinent question

More from Merriam-Webster on impertinent

Nglish: Translation of impertinent for Spanish Speakers


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