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

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 Misunderstanding can be mistaken for insolence or defiance. Christine Sexton,, "Deaf drivers could help during traffic stops," 17 Mar. 2018 A direct attack on the freedom of the press and the liberty of speech at the North, where alone either exists, were no more incredible than the later insolences of its tyranny ... Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The 1850s Response to the Racism of 2017," 16 Aug. 2017 Among the violations: damage to property, assaulting another inmate, disobeying direct orders and insolence. Steve Mills,, "How did Terrance Jenkins die? Guards, prisoners disagree on details in inmate's death," 17 July 2017 Tiger Woods' jaw is slack, not set in defiance, not firm at all, hanging there placidly, without insolence, without resolve. Bernie Lincicome,, "Tiger Woods, like his long lost golf game, isn't a pretty picture," 10 June 2017 For two weeks, the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on every weekday would be spent reading @realdonaldtrump tweets excoriating them for their insolence. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Imagine any other Trump adviser appearing on a magazine with this headline," 7 June 2017 In the old days, high in his castle on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, such insolence could be waved away. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Trump’s war against the checks on his power keeps expanding," 2 June 2017 The tone of the race between the insurgents has shocked many for its raw anger and insolence. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, "France Chooses a Leader, and Takes a Step Into the Unknown," 6 May 2017

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

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

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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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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