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

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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 Consequently, the dire state of the planet was pinned on one generation, even lifelong environmentalists, while another was chided for insolence and ignorance. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "It was the year of ‘OK boomer,’ and the generations were at each other’s throats," 24 Dec. 2019 Palpatine tries to murder Luke for his insolence, but Vader’s love for his son proves too much., "What we know about Emperor Palpatine — and how he could impact Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 1 Nov. 2019 Newcastle found Bellamy to be a Jekyll and Hyde character, equally capable of brilliance and insolence, with the two often occurring together., "90min's Premier League Hall of Fame: Class of 2018," 31 Oct. 2019 For a huge swath of the populace -- a cross-section of generations and political stripes -- the messages exposed the arrogance and insolence of a political elite long divorced from the struggles of ordinary people. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "The sudden downfall of one of Puerto Rico's most powerful political dynasties," 2 Aug. 2019 On Monday, Police charged a 36-year-old man in Louisiana for the latest act of ice cream insolence. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Blue Bell could add more protection to ice cream cartons after Texas licking incident," 9 July 2019 All the characteristic Winogrand elements are to be found: energy, surprise, voraciousness, avidity, dauntlessness, wit, alertness, muscularity, gusto, slyness, insolence, stunned wonder (that especially). Mark Feeney,, "Garry Winogrand, that master of black-and-white, was a master of color, too," 20 June 2019 The footguards, who had long been jealous of the prerogatives and insolence of the Praetorian cavalry, embraced the party of the people. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Crowder Isn’t a Threat to Public Safety," 6 June 2019 Might insecurity, then, explain her wearisome insolence? Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret’ Review: The Id of the Royal Family," 3 Aug. 2018

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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Time Traveler for insolence

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

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Statistics for insolence

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insolence.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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

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Comments on insolence

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


good-natured easy friendliness

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