insouciance

noun
in·​sou·​ci·​ance | \ in-ˈsü-sē-ən(t)s How to pronounce insouciance (audio) , aⁿ-süs-ˈyäⁿs How to pronounce insouciance (audio) \

Definition of insouciance

: lighthearted unconcern : nonchalance

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Other Words from insouciance

insouciant \ in-​ˈsü-​sē-​ənt How to pronounce insouciant (audio) , aⁿ-​süs-​ˈyäⁿ \ adjective
insouciantly \ in-​ˈsü-​sē-​ənt-​lē How to pronounce insouciantly (audio) \ adverb

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").

Examples of insouciance in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Lithe, slightly oversized and with an effortless insouciance, the latest update to the staple is cinching. Melissa Magsaysay, chicagotribune.com, "5 fall fashion trends to embrace — and make uniquely yours," 6 Sep. 2019 Eckersley brings that insouciance into the broadcast booth. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "‘I got lucky, man.’ Dennis Eckersley on surviving his tough times," 16 July 2019 Over on the continent was French singer-songwriter Lou Doillon, who made a pit stop in Krakow, Poland for her current tour, bringing a little Gallic insouciance to Eastern Europe along the way. Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Billie Eilish, Lou Doillon, Janelle Monáe, and More," 25 May 2019 But the show’s appeal lies less in its plot than in its off-kilter insouciance. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "Off-Kilter Humor on “Los Espookys” and “Alternatino”," 1 July 2019 Consider Jagger's latest dye job a decidedly millennial approach to summertime insouciance. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Georgia May Jagger's High-Impact Hair Color is Surprisingly Low-Maintenance," 31 May 2019 The veteran reporter recounts in vivid detail not only the depravity of Kelly’s alleged behavior, but also the insouciance—or worse, active support—with which his associates, fans, and legal gatekeepers handled him after it was revealed. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Soulless and the Fallacy of R. Kelly’s Need for ‘Help’," 6 June 2019 On this tune the tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown improvises with a combination of breezy insouciance and sharp rhythmic assurance. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: The 1975 Talk About Its Generation, and 9 More New Songs," 1 June 2018 Key elements of '70's jet set style: insouciance, and a headscarf. Veronique Hyland, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tie One On With Ferragamo's New Headscarves," 18 Jan. 2011

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.

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First Known Use of insouciance

1799, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insouciance

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

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Dictionary Entries near insouciance

insooth

insorb

insordid

insouciance

insoul

insource

insp

Statistics for insouciance

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for insouciance

The first known use of insouciance was in 1799

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More Definitions for insouciance

insouciance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of insouciance

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insouciance

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Nglish: Translation of insouciance for Spanish Speakers

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