Definition of insinuate
- insinuate doubts into a trusting mind
- I resent what you're insinuating
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years were needed for the agent to insinuate himself into the terrorist organization
are you insinuating that I won by cheating?
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.
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").
First Known Use: 1529See Words from the same year
: to say (something, especially something bad or insulting) in an indirect way
: to gradually make (yourself) a part of a group, a person's life, etc., often by behaving in a dishonest way
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