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 insinuative (audio) , -​yü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective
insinuator \ in-​ˈsin-​yə-​ˌwā-​tər How to pronounce insinuator (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 Janovitz, who performed with Easton at a benefit event in Los Angeles earlier this year, is still in awe of the way Ocasek insinuated his detached presence and skewed point-of-view into the mainstream of American pop. BostonGlobe.com, "Ric Ocasek of the Cars outside Syncro Sound Studio in Boston in 1984.," 17 Sep. 2019 The texts revealed conversations between Meyer and Smith in January 2018, insinuating that Saban had already offered Smith a position after the 2017 season. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Nick Saban: Alabama Passed on Zach Smith Hire After Background Check," 3 Aug. 2019 My friend was insinuating that my life in big business would cast a shadow over my future prospects. Sally Susman, NBC News, "'You're going to need a cleanse': How Pfizer's Sally Susman was criticized for choosing a corporate career," 26 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors have insinuated that police changed hours on the company’s liquor license and imposed more restrictions as part of a plan to put pressure on Snow and Appel to give into city demands to hire from the union. Maria Cramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Former police commissioner Evans testifies in Boston Calling case," 5 Aug. 2019 Jordan Mills, a six-year veteran, spent the first week in possession of the first-team right tackle spot, but Flaherty insinuated the fun is just beginning. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ offensive line play isn’t meeting team’s expectations through first week of camp," 28 July 2019 McMillan, who had 105 tackles and forced two fumbles last season as a starter, insinuated his demotion was package based. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins training camp Day 1: Stock up, stock down and other observations," 25 July 2019 The mind is kept captive not only by laziness or circumstance, but by external enemies who have already biochemically insinuated themselves. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019 Among other comedic characters, Allen would conceive of Leonard Zelig, a figure who could insinuate himself into any situation. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "How the Influence of Al Davis Shaped the Modern NFL," 27 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for insinuate

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for insinuate

The first known use of insinuate was in 1529

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More Definitions for insinuate

insinuate

verb
How to pronounce insinuate (audio)

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.

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