insouciance

play
noun in·sou·ci·ance \in-ˈsü-sē-ən(t)s, aⁿ-süs-ˈyäⁿs\

Definition of insouciance

  1. :  lighthearted unconcern :  nonchalance

insouciant

play \in-ˈsü-sē-ənt, aⁿ-süs-ˈyäⁿ\ adjective

insouciantly

play \in-ˈsü-sē-ənt-lē\ adverb

insouciance was our Word of the Day on 08/18/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of insouciance in a Sentence

  1. wandered into the meeting with complete insouciance to the fact that she was late

Recent Examples of insouciance from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Don't worry - be insouciant. Perhaps your mind will rest easier if we explain that English speakers learned "insouciance" from the French in the 1700s (and the adjective "insouciant" has been part of our language since the 1800s). The French word comes from a combination of the negative prefix in- and soucier, meaning "to trouble or disturb." "Soucier" in turn traces to "sollicitus," the Latin word for "anxious." If it seems to you that "sollicitus" looks a lot like some other English words you've seen, you're right. That root also gave us "solicit" (which now means "to entreat" but which was once used to mean "to fill with concern or anxiety"), "solicitude" (meaning "uneasiness of mind"), and "solicitous" ("showing or expressing concern").

Origin and Etymology of insouciance

French, from in- + soucier to trouble, disturb, from Old French, from Latin sollicitare — more at solicit


INSOUCIANCE Defined for English Language Learners

insouciance

play
noun

Definition of insouciance for English Language Learners

  • : a relaxed and calm state : a feeling of not worrying about anything



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done merely as a duty

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