in·​sol·​ven·​cy | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsäl-vən(t)-sē How to pronounce insolvency (audio) , -ˈsȯl- \

Definition of insolvency

: the fact or state of being insolvent : inability to pay debts

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Synonyms & Antonyms for insolvency



  • solvency
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Examples of insolvency in a Sentence

unless the economy improves, many resorts in the area face insolvency
Recent Examples on the Web Wirecard filed for protection from creditors through insolvency proceedings in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) supposedly held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably didn’t exist., "Greentown Labs expands to Houston," 22 Apr. 2021 The problem played a part in the collapses of the British construction giant Carillion in 2018 and the Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa, which filed for insolvency in February. New York Times, "The Swift Collapse of a Company Built on Debt," 28 Mar. 2021 Our federal trust funds—programs like Medicare—are facing impending insolvency. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Mitt Romney criticizes Biden’s HHS secretary nominee over abortion, expansion of Medicare," 23 Feb. 2021 Government rescue of private enterprises facing insolvency, once an unthinkable intervention, has become somewhat commonplace. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Companies Aren’t Saving Their Pennies as Markets Turn Bubbly," 19 Feb. 2021 British companies facing insolvency can appoint administrators to provide protection against creditors. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Another 24,000 retail jobs at risk as UK fashion group faces collapse," 9 Oct. 2020 Slavery drove a decadent colonial lifestyle, but in the early 1800s, farms were driven into insolvency. Washington Post, "A story of slavery — and space," 26 Mar. 2021 What to watch for: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund and will debate ways to transition from relying on the gas tax. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Democrats begin to write Biden’s green infrastructure plan into legislation," 12 Apr. 2021 The bank, however, froze the funds in March after doubts were raised about Greensill’s lending practices, which then forced the startup to file for insolvency. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, "Credit Suisse Takes $4.7 Billion Hit Following Archegos Collapse," 6 Apr. 2021

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

1660, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for insolvency

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The first known use of insolvency was in 1660

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Statistics for insolvency

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insolvency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for insolvency


in·​sol·​ven·​cy | \ in-ˈsäl-vən-sē How to pronounce insolvency (audio) \
plural insolvencies

Legal Definition of insolvency

1 : the fact or state of being insolvent — compare bankruptcy
2 : insufficiency (as of an estate) to discharge all enforceable debts

Note: Insolvency matters are covered under the Bankruptcy Code.

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