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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps your own insecurities led you to misinterpret an authority figure's passing comment as an urgent command. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 27 May 2023 Vulnerable narcissism stems from strong feelings of insecurity in a person, which may develop after early childhood experiences lead them to feel inadequate. Kaitlyn Phoenix, Good Housekeeping, 26 May 2023 When Gao becomes pregnant out of wedlock, the two are forced to share their deepest insecurities and come together to create their own futures. Alice Wu, Women's Health, 26 May 2023 People who need electronic medical devices and live in poor housing conditions tend to experience higher rates of energy insecurity. Carla Delgado, Popular Science, 25 May 2023 Cage embodies Kaufman, basting in every insecurity that haunts screenwriters: indecision punctuated by a profound lack of confidence, which produces crushing anxiety, which leads to crippling anxiety, which causes writer’s block. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 As the clock runs on Lasso’s next move, violence and economic insecurity are leading more Ecuadorians to leave the country, with statistics showing thousands making their way north through the treacherous Darien Gap this year. Tara John, CNN, 4 May 2023 Watch on YouTube IconYouTube Icon Mendes also continued to be candid about how his own insecurities played a role in his romance with Cabello. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 28 Apr. 2023 Everything about Midge and about this project felt impossible, as someone who toes the line of debilitating insecurity about my own ability. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 11 Apr. 2023 See More

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 6 Jun. 2023.

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

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