in·​se·​cure | \ ˌin-si-ˈkyu̇r How to pronounce insecure (audio) \

Definition of insecure

1a : deficient in assurance : beset by fear and anxiety always felt insecure in a group of strangers
b : not highly stable or well-adjusted an insecure marriage
2 : not confident or sure : uncertain feeling somewhat insecure of his reception
3 : not adequately guarded or sustained : unsafe an insecure investment
4 : not firmly fastened or fixed : shaky the hinge is loose and insecure

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from insecure

insecurely adverb
insecureness noun
insecurity \ ˌin-​si-​ˈkyu̇r-​ə-​tē How to pronounce insecure (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for insecure



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of insecure in a Sentence

I feel shy and insecure around strangers. One of the building's rear doors was insecure. The country's borders remain insecure.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In March, a group of homeless and housing-insecure Angelenos occupied a different group of houses, citing the coronavirus. Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, "Homeless families sought shelter from COVID-19 in vacant houses. CHP officers evicted them before Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2020 That’s how many Second Harvest Food Bank expected food-insecure people in south Louisiana would go without in 2019. Karen Taylor,, "Second Harvest Food Bank might double food service in busy 2020; here's how you can help," 16 Nov. 2020 Most often, those who were already suffering the effects of inequality have been hit the hardest — lower-income workers, those in insecure jobs, young people, women and minority ethnic groups, Emma Reynolds reports. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Monday, December 7," 7 Dec. 2020 Phishing emails, where hackers try to tempt the receiver into opening an email with an attachment or link to malicious software, are a problem, as are weak passwords and insecure home computers and Wi-Fi networks. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Data Privacy in the Age of Online Learning," 8 Dec. 2020 Needless to say, COVID-19 has not helped those who were already feeling concerned or insecure about having been single throughout their lives. Izzie Price,, "I’m 27 & I’ve Never Had A Partner At Christmas," 23 Dec. 2020 In fact, Mexico’s laws rendered slavery insecure not just in Texas and Louisiana but in the very heart of the Union. Alice Baumgartner, The New Yorker, "When the Enslaved Went South," 19 Nov. 2020 While her skills lend her ferocity and a sense of fearlessness, Xiala is still vulnerable and insecure in her Teek identity. Arielle Gray, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Black Sun’ weaves fantastic worlds in faraway lands," 21 Dec. 2020 Needless to say, COVID-19 has not helped those who were already feeling concerned or insecure about having been single throughout their lives. Izzie Price,, "I’m 27 & I’ve Never Had A Partner At Christmas," 20 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of insecure

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for insecure

Medieval Latin insecurus, from Latin in- + securus secure

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insecure

Time Traveler for insecure

Time Traveler

The first known use of insecure was in 1649

See more words from the same year

Statistics for insecure

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insecure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insecure



English Language Learners Definition of insecure

: not confident about yourself or your ability to do things well : nervous and uncomfortable
: not certain to continue or be successful for a long time
: not locked or well protected


in·​se·​cure | \ ˌin-si-ˈkyu̇r How to pronounce insecure (audio) \

Kids Definition of insecure

1 : not safe or secure insecure property
2 : not confident He's insecure about his talents.


in·​se·​cure | \ ˌin(t)-si-ˈkyu̇(ə)r How to pronounce insecure (audio) \

Medical Definition of insecure

: characterized by or causing emotional insecurity an insecure childhood

Keep scrolling for more



Legal Definition of insecure

: having a good faith belief that the prospect of receiving payment or performance from a party with whom one has contracted is impaired

Other Words from insecure

insecurity noun

More from Merriam-Webster on insecure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insecure

Nglish: Translation of insecure for Spanish Speakers

Comments on insecure

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!