in·​sol·​vent | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsäl-vənt How to pronounce insolvent (audio) , -ˈsȯl- \

Definition of insolvent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : unable to pay debts as they fall due in the usual course of business
b : having liabilities in excess of a reasonable market value of assets held
2 : insufficient to pay all debts an insolvent estate


plural insolvents

Definition of insolvent (Entry 2 of 2)

: an insolvent debtor : a person or entity that is unable to pay debts as they fall due The country's newspapers regularly published legal notices that announced private assignments for the benefit of creditors, the attachments by creditors against the property of absconding debtors, and court-mandated auctions of assets owned by insolvents.— Edward J. Balleisen

Examples of insolvent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Many funds and institutions that were exposed to LUNA and/ or UST took big hits, and some were likely rendered insolvent. Rahul Rai, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Florida’s home insurance availability crisis continues to claim new victims, and worries are mounting that more companies could be declared insolvent as this year’s hurricane season draws near. Ron Hurtibise,, 29 Mar. 2022 The other snag was that there was no physical bank, and the majority of the rural credit cooperatives were said to be technically insolvent some years ago. Ethan Gutmann, National Review, 19 Feb. 2022 Energy experts warn that some German power suppliers are in danger of going insolvent. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2021 Under current trends, the trust funds with these programs are already projected to be technically insolvent within 15 years. Andrew Tisch, Forbes, 28 June 2021 The Medicare hospital trust fund is scheduled to be insolvent in 2026. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2022 Under Tom’s management, enhanced by various personal loans Tom has made to the company, Amaru has gone from virtually insolvent to a solid financial footing. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 12 Jan. 2022 The Department of Insurance places financially troubled or insolvent insurance companies with the Office of the Special Deputy Receiver to oversee receiverships, where remaining assets and distributions are handled with court oversight. Ray Long,, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of insolvent


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1725, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of insolvent was in 1591

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Dictionary Entries Near insolvent

insolvency law


in someone's absence

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Statistics for insolvent

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insolvent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insolvent


in·​sol·​vent | \ in-ˈsäl-vənt How to pronounce insolvent (audio) \

Legal Definition of insolvent

1 : having ceased paying or unable to pay debts as they fall due in the usual course of business — compare bankrupt
2 : having liabilities in excess of a reasonable market value of assets held
3 : insufficient to pay all debts an insolvent estate

Other Words from insolvent

insolvent noun


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