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

Is the investigation specific to Domingo, or given the AP article’s insinuation that others helped to protect the opera star, will the actions or inaction of company leaders be part of the investigation? How big is Yang’s team of investigators? Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "Why the Plácido Domingo sexual harassment investigation brings questions, not answers," 4 Sep. 2019 But ladies and gentlemen, that’s not an insinuation. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: WWE Still a Big Part of John Cena’s Future Plans," 12 June 2019 But the first issue that jumps out is the president’s insinuation that these congresswomen are all immigrants. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump’s Racist Tweets Prove the Power of AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar's Squad," 15 July 2019 There’ve been insinuations about other characters’ sexuality, but this is the first openly gay character. Nick Romano,, "Marvel boss confirms Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie as MCU's first LGBTQ superhero," 22 July 2019 The quarterback didn't appreciate the insinuation, which seems even more juvenile 25 years later. USA TODAY, "Sports figures vs. reporters: Top confrontations, from Billy Martin to Russell Westbrook," 25 June 2019 For De Ligt, the insinuation is that that time is now., "Matthijs de Ligt Move to Barcelona Hits Hurdle Over Wage Demands & Lack of 'Humility'," 14 June 2019 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

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

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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