in·​sin·​u·​a·​tion | \ (ˌ)in-ˌsin-yə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce insinuation (audio) , -yü-ˈā-\

Definition of insinuation

1 : something that is insinuated especially : a sly, subtle, and usually derogatory utterance
2 : the act or process of insinuating

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Synonyms for insinuation


imputation, innuendo

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Examples of insinuation in a Sentence

I resent her insinuation that I can't do it without her help. He criticizes his opponents by insinuation rather than directly.

Recent Examples on the Web

The insinuation is that President Trump could be intervening here as a favor to the Russians. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Schumer’s Russia Sanctions Gambit," 14 Jan. 2019 Bauer didn’t provide any specifics but his insinuations triggered a social-media storm, which included responses from several Astros players, including pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Collin McHugh. Tom Withers, The Seattle Times, "AP source: Indians complain to MLB about Astros filming," 16 Oct. 2018 Or, again, maybe the allegations and insinuations or even the criminal charges aren’t true. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Who wrote the op-ed? Will the government shut down? Denials pile up in Washington," 10 Sep. 2018 But the insinuation—from the president and vice president of the United States, speaking in the Oval Office—that this caravan includes terrorists from the Middle East is not grounded in any facts yet presented to the American people. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Jews Are Proud to Stand With Refugees," 29 Oct. 2018 The company, along with Apple and Facebook, was famously early to roll out egg-freezing benefits, a perk that some ominously read as a corporate insinuation to postpone family. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "At 35, I Went to a Millennial Egg-Freezing Clinic—and Now I’m Rethinking My Future," 12 Nov. 2018 The insinuation is this is something, by the way, that’s wrong. Eric Johnson, Recode, "It may be ‘data journalism,’ but Julia Angwin’s new site the Markup is nothing like FiveThirtyEight," 27 Sep. 2018 Trump’s attacks on McCabe — and his insinuations of political bias — are part of the president’s larger attacks on federal law enforcement. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is at the center of a political firestorm again," 21 Sep. 2018 Allegations and insinuations of Russian meddling clearly cost Mr. Trump some sizeable number of votes. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Clapper Disinformation Campaign," 29 May 2018

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

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for insinuation

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for insinuation

The first known use of insinuation was in 1526

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More Definitions for insinuation



English Language Learners Definition of insinuation

: a usually bad or insulting remark that is said in an indirect way
: the act of saying something bad or insulting in an indirect way

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Comments on insinuation

What made you want to look up insinuation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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