insolent

adjective
in·so·lent | \ ˈin(t)-s(ə-)lənt \

Definition of insolent 

1 : insultingly contemptuous in speech or conduct : overbearing

2 : exhibiting boldness or effrontery : impudent

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from insolent

insolent noun
insolently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for insolent

proud, arrogant, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, disdainful mean showing scorn for inferiors. proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness. too proud to take charity arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted. a conceited and arrogant executive haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position. a haughty aristocrat lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power. a lordly condescension insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness. ignored by an insolent waiter overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence. an overbearing supervisor supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness. an aloof and supercilious manner disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness. disdainful of their social inferiors

Examples of insolent in a Sentence

… the tempos were all-out fast and the tone was flat-out insolent. To some, rock-and-roll was as threatening as Communism and desegregation. —Margo Jefferson, New York Times, 26 Oct. 1994 Sweating, cursing the whole Mickey Mouse operation, they paced themselves with their own insolent complaints while the foreman cursed loudest … —Jayne Anne Phillips, Granta, Spring 1991 They could go days without food or water; they could withstand burning heat …  ; and if they were horribly cruel to their captives, they could themselves accept torture with insolent defiance. —James A. Michener, Texas, 1985 Insolent behavior will not be tolerated. an appallingly insolent reply to a reasonable request
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In particular, the character of Roy Cohn, incarnated by Nathan Lane with insolent glee, seemed to channel the voice of the current political zeitgeist. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'Angels in America,' the right play for our fractious times," 26 Mar. 2018 Dunn was a superbly insolent Mercutio, all flicking feet and snickering hands and insinuating pelvis. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet elevates Cranko’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’," 16 Mar. 2018 At the same time, her snobbish, insolent style makes her a strong irritant for blue-collar workers, helping mobilize Putin’s base. Washington Post, "Putin looks for quick win, but voter apathy worries Kremlin," 15 Dec. 2017 And insolent enough to stick around when the lights come up. Allison Glock, Southern Living, "The Joys of Moving Back South," 14 Sep. 2012 The play’s voice — almost instantly recognizable as the crude, insolent tenor of a 14-year-old boy’s, Rawley says — means there are a lot of vile things that get spewed. Dusty Somers, The Seattle Times, "New Washington Ensemble Theatre season takes aim at ‘toxic masculinity’," 5 Sep. 2017 Within a 10-minute or so span, Kyrgios was insolent, immature, compassionate and confused. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Nick Kyrgios after U.S. Open loss: 'I’m not dedicated to the game at all'," 30 Aug. 2017 Lauren Bacall, 19 and insolent, giving Humphrey Bogart a lesson on how to whistle in To Have and Have Not. Lili Anolik, HWD, "Warren Beatty, Pauline Kael, and an Epic Hollywood Mistake," 19 June 2017 And insolent enough to stick around when the lights come up. Allison Glock, Southern Living, "The Joys of Moving Back South," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insolent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of insolent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insolent

Middle English, from Latin insolent-, insolens unaccustomed, overbearing, from in- + solens, present participle of solēre to be accustomed; perhaps akin to Latin sodalis comrade — more at sib

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insolent

Statistics for insolent

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insolent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insolent

insolent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of insolent

: rude or impolite : having or showing a lack of respect for other people

insolent

adjective
in·so·lent | \ ˈin-sə-lənt \

Kids Definition of insolent

: showing lack of respect for rank or authority

Other words from insolent

insolently adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on insolent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insolent

Spanish Central: Translation of insolent

Nglish: Translation of insolent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insolent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on insolent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!