in·​se·​cu·​ri·​ty ˌin-si-ˈkyu̇r-ə-tē How to pronounce insecurity (audio)
plural insecurities
: the quality or state of being insecure: such as
: a state or feeling of anxiety, fear, or self-doubt
troubled by (feelings of) insecurity
Deep down he knows his swagger is just insecurity masquerading as confidence.Entertainment Weekly
… the questions we don't dare ask reflect our deepest insecurities about relationships.J. D. Heiman
They rarely have a confidante with whom they can compare notes, share crushes, and discuss insecurities.Kristen Golden
: lack of dependability or certainty
job insecurity
financial insecurity
the insecurity of their future
often, specifically : lack of a reliable means of meeting one's basic needs
families who are experiencing housing insecurity
see also food insecurity
: lack of safety or protection
the insecurity of the investment
revealed the insecurities [=vulnerabilities] in their system

Examples of insecurity in a Sentence

the insecurity of the bookcase made it dangerous for a household with small children who like to climb
Recent Examples on the Web Throughout the region, the fraying of democratic institutions and the rise of insecurity had encouraged support for strongmen. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 17 June 2024 Democracy does not flourish among the dead and chaos of global insecurity. Dr. Robert G. Rabil, Sun Sentinel, 15 June 2024 Through the difficulty of treatment, Sadoun found new purpose in his aim to ensure that people undergoing cancer treatment would not need to grapple with an additional lack of support in the workplace, or fear of job insecurity, as a result of their diagnosis. Noor Lobad, WWD, 13 June 2024 Con: insecurity Although tenants do have some legal protections, a renter's housing security is dependent to a large degree on their landlord, who can decide to increase the rent or end the tenancy. Rebecca Messina, theweek, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for insecurity 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insecurity was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near insecurity

Cite this Entry

“Insecurity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


in·​se·​cu·​ri·​ty -ˈkyu̇r-ət-ē How to pronounce insecurity (audio)
plural insecurities
: a feeling of apprehensiveness and uncertainty : lack of assurance or stability

More from Merriam-Webster on insecurity

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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