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

Definition of insecure

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

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Other Words from insecure

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for insecure


lax, loose, loosened, relaxed, slack, slackened, unsecured


taut, tense, tight

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Prosecutors painted Carter as a vindictive and insecure teen concerned less with Roy’s life than her own popularity. Isaac Feldberg,, "New HBO documentary will explore Michelle Carter case," 1 July 2019 Consumers understandably fear that the devices will quickly become insecure or lose features, due to U.S. blacklisting of the Chinese telecommunications giant. Alan Murray, Fortune, "The Dangers of Social Divisions: CEO Daily," 4 June 2019 And just why had the prince chosen to take the Passage Charity, an organization serving homeless and housing-insecure people, under his wing? Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Is Now Patron of a Charity He Visited with Princess Diana as a Child," 13 Feb. 2019 Though experts have warned for years that voting machines are insecure, companies and municipalities have been slow to upgrade and secure them—despite voting machines being listed as critical infrastructure by the US government. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Security News This Week: Browser Extensions Scraped Data From Millions of People," 20 July 2019 Large swathes of the forest have been cleared, the local roads have become dangerously busy, polluted thoroughfares make journeying to school slow and difficult, food prices have soared, wages have fallen, jobs are scarce, and people feel insecure. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 Replacing insecure and aging voting machines around the country, introducing post-election audits in the dozens of states that don’t yet have them, shoring up election network defenses, and expanding security personnel all takes money. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Election Security Is Still Hurting at Every Level," 6 June 2019 The show forgets to be funny at all until the third episode, which focusses on the sardonic and insecure Kat, played by the influencer model Ferreira. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Euphoria” and the Flawed Art of Gen Z Prophesying," 16 June 2019 My relationship with Max left me deeply insecure in a variety of ways. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Breathless: How I Finally Got Rid of My Relationship Baggage," 28 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of insecure

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insecure

Medieval Latin insecurus, from Latin in- + securus secure

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Statistics for insecure

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insecure

The first known use of insecure was in 1649

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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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on insecure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insecure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insecure

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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