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

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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



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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 If the parents are out of control, the teachers are paranoid and insecure. Dallas News, "Well-to-do parents are out of control in the biting ‘Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes’," 11 Feb. 2020 What other global industry is so frightfully insecure about its place, not just in the culture but in the economy? Washington Post, "Fashion Week begins, and so does an entire industry’s angst over its very existence," 8 Feb. 2020 Of the 420 million youth in Africa today, the majority are unemployed, have insecure jobs or are in casual employment. Victor Odundo Owuor, Quartz Africa, "The uncomfortable link between smartphones and the rise in gambling with Africa’s youth," 24 Nov. 2019 Phair has always been unsentimental and boldly candid, particularly about the ways that needy and insecure lovers can mess with each others’ minds. John Adamian,, "Liz Phair, following release of new single, coming to College Street," 8 Nov. 2019 From insecure communication links to inadequately guarded data in the cloud, vulnerabilities are everywhere. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "The Quantum Internet Is Emerging, One Experiment at a Time," 19 June 2019 In November 2017, reporting by ProPublica and Gizmodo showed that the program was run on insecure servers and that its administrators regularly exchanged passwords by email. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "Kansas Abandons Technology Trumpeted by Kris Kobach, Trump’s Onetime Voter Fraud Czar," 12 Dec. 2019 Among households where those 65 and older lived with another senior, Vermont, at 34.8%, had the largest percentage who were financially insecure. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "Older Americans' financial woes make the retirement years less rosy," 20 Nov. 2019 Mr Ghani’s opponents say the security services invisibly influenced the vote, by declaring that areas that supported opposition candidates were too insecure to allow voting to proceed. The Economist, "Afghanistan’s presidential poll looks likely to be disputed," 3 Oct. 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 2

History and Etymology for insecure

Medieval Latin insecurus, from Latin in- + securus secure

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Time Traveler for insecure

Time Traveler

The first known use of insecure was in 1649

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Statistics for insecure

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insecure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce insecure (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insecure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insecure

Spanish Central: Translation of insecure

Nglish: Translation of insecure for Spanish Speakers

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