insinuate

verb
in·​sin·​u·​ate | \ in-ˈsin-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce insinuate (audio) , -yü-ˌāt \
insinuated; insinuating

Definition of insinuate

transitive verb

1a : to impart or suggest in an artful or indirect way : imply I resent what you're insinuating.
b : to introduce (something, such as an idea) gradually or in a subtle, indirect, or covert way insinuate doubts into a trusting mind
2 : to introduce (someone, such as oneself) by stealthy, smooth, or artful means

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to enter gently, slowly, or imperceptibly : creep
2 archaic : to ingratiate oneself

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Other Words from insinuate

insinuative \ in-​ˈsin-​yə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce insinuate (audio) , -​yü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective
insinuator \ in-​ˈsin-​yə-​ˌwā-​tər How to pronounce insinuate (audio) , -​yü-​ˌā-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for insinuate

introduce, insert, insinuate, interpolate, intercalate, interpose, interject mean to put between or among others. introduce is a general term for bringing or placing a thing or person into a group or body already in existence. introduced a new topic into the conversation insert implies putting into a fixed or open space between or among. inserted a clause in the contract insinuate implies introducing gradually or by gentle pressure. insinuated himself into the group interpolate applies to the inserting of something extraneous or spurious. interpolated her own comments into the report intercalate suggests an intrusive inserting of something in an existing series or sequence. new chapters intercalated with the old interpose suggests inserting an obstruction or cause of delay. interpose barriers to communication interject implies an abrupt or forced introduction. interjected a question

suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought. a film title that suggests its subject matter imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed. measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement. hinted that she might get the job intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor. intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner. insinuated that there were shady dealings

When to Use Insinuate

The meaning of insinuate is similar to that of another verb, suggest. Whether you suggest or insinuate something, you are conveying an idea indirectly. But although these two words share the same basic meaning, each gets the idea across in a different way. When you suggest something, you put it into the mind by associating it with other ideas, desires, or thoughts. You might say, for example, that a book's title suggests what the story is about. The word insinuate, on the other hand, usually includes a sense that the idea being conveyed is unpleasant, or that it is being passed along in a sly or underhanded way ("She insinuated that I cheated").

Examples of insinuate in a Sentence

years were needed for the agent to insinuate himself into the terrorist organization are you insinuating that I won by cheating?
Recent Examples on the Web On social media, anti-vaxxers have used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data to insinuate that people are dying from the vaccine. David Heath, USA Today, 17 June 2021 But lifting mask mandates and other restrictions based on recommendations for fully vaccinated people may insinuate the work is done, Piltch-Loeb said. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2021 Carlson cited data from a federal database called VAERS, short for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, to insinuate that the Covid-19 vaccines are problematic. Brian Stelter, CNN, 6 May 2021 But Jodie, acting on her conviction, manages to insinuate herself into Daniel’s life and concerns. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 The destructive part is the way the plan seeks to insinuate government cash and the rules that go with it into all of the major decisions of family life. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2021 Gone are the days when the creators of That ’70s Show had to devise elaborate gimmicks and rely on euphemistic slang in order to insinuate that its teenage characters were smoking pot while avoiding network blowback. Judy Berman, Time, 20 Apr. 2021 Instead of stopping, Koh continued to insinuate himself into Uzoka’s network. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Carlson has repeatedly used his show to insinuate public health officials are hiding information about coronavirus vaccines and trying to coerce unwilling patients into getting vaccinated. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insinuate.' 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 insinuate

1529, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b

History and Etymology for insinuate

Latin insinuatus, past participle of insinuare, from in- + sinuare to bend, curve, from sinus curve

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Time Traveler for insinuate

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The first known use of insinuate was in 1529

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insinuate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insinuate. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for insinuate

insinuate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of insinuate

: to say (something, especially something bad or insulting) in an indirect way
formal : to gradually make (yourself) a part of a group, a person's life, etc., often by behaving in a dishonest way

insinuate

verb
in·​sin·​u·​ate | \ in-ˈsin-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce insinuate (audio) \
insinuated; insinuating

Kids Definition of insinuate

1 : hint entry 2, imply She insinuated that I had cheated.
2 : to bring or get in little by little or in a secret way He insinuated himself into the group.

More from Merriam-Webster on insinuate

Nglish: Translation of insinuate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insinuate for Arabic Speakers

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