in·​so·​lence | \ ˈin(t)-s(ə-)lən(t)s How to pronounce insolence (audio) \

Definition of insolence

1 : the quality or state of being insolent
2 : an instance of insolent conduct or treatment

Examples of insolence in a Sentence

amazed that parents would tolerate such insolence from their teenaged children her frequent displays of insolence have lowered her standing among movie fans
Recent Examples on the Web Surely, this was the final nail in the countercultural coffin, when the band that personified rebellion and insolence was reduced to having their tour sponsored by a retirement-planning trade group. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2021 Miss Manners thoroughly disapproves of this guest, whose transgression may have been made out of ignorance but who followed it with insolence. Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2021 Sour cream becomes precious commodity similar to ruthenium or Canadian insolence. Henry Alford, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 Infuriated by her students’ insolence and disproportionate power, Gevinson’s Kate Keller persuades a few co-workers to revive Gossip Girl, as a watchdog to provoke better behavior. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 9 July 2021 Self-respect equated with insolence aimed at oppression remains a threat. Vivian D. Nixon, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 June 2021 The video was filmed on the Lower East Side, and most of the interiors were shot in Lauper’s bedroom. Scene-stealing Albano, dressed in a white undershirt, his elaborate curls bouncing, scolds Lauper for her insolence. Jon Wertheim, Vulture, 25 June 2021 In one TikTok video, a conservative influencer acts out dramatically refusing a vaccine, getting beaten to death for her insolence and ascending to heaven. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2021 Through scandal and plague, injuries and insolence, the Houston Astros remain unstoppable in the American League playoffs. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of insolence was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

29 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insolence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for insolence


in·​so·​lence | \ ˈin-sə-ləns How to pronounce insolence (audio) \

Kids Definition of insolence

: lack of respect for rank or authority

More from Merriam-Webster on insolence

Nglish: Translation of insolence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insolence for Arabic Speakers


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