in·​sub·​or·​di·​nate | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈbȯr-də-nət How to pronounce insubordinate (audio) , -ˈbȯrd-nət \

Definition of insubordinate

: disobedient to authority

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Other Words from insubordinate

insubordinate noun
insubordinately adverb
insubordination \ ˌin(t)-​sə-​ˌbȯr-​də-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce insubordination (audio) \ noun

Examples of insubordinate in a Sentence

His behavior was unprofessional and insubordinate. the junior officer was court-martialed for being insubordinate
Recent Examples on the Web The motion also perpetuates a false narrative of persecution and misconduct, portraying Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates as ineffectual, FBI Director James Comey as insubordinate, and FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as nefarious. Jonathan Stevenson, The New York Review of Books, "With Flynn, Barr Burns Justice to Feed Trump’s ‘Obamagate’ Fantasy," 15 May 2020 In one contretemps, Mr. Kraft regarded Scott Carpenter, one of America’s original astronauts, as insubordinate on a Mercury flight and grounded him permanently. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Christopher Kraft, NASA’s Face and Voice of Mission Control, Dies at 95," 22 July 2019 Jones ultimately concluded Daeschner was insubordinate and dishonest regarding her oversight of the toddler’s case, according to the investigator’s notes. oregonlive, "Foster care supervisor who drew criticism, lawsuits continues long career at DHS after internal investigation," 30 Nov. 2019 The rulers of the Joseon dynasty, for instance, used to send insubordinate aristocrats there to stop them from meddling in politics. The Economist, "Going south South Korea’s president curbs the power of prosecutors," 18 Jan. 2020 Some said overzealous and occasionally insubordinate — insistent on his vision of correct police work. Adam Carlson,, "'88 Days of Hell': The True Story of the Atlanta Olympic Bombing and the Wrongfully Suspected Hero at the Center," 1 Jan. 2020 These are not the insubordinate and unprofessional 2011 Red Sox who buried themselves in a heap of beer cans and chicken bones in an epic September collapse. Chad Finn,, "These Red Sox are reminiscent of some other underachievers," 19 Aug. 2019 According to the report, quote, one source telling ABC that the draft report explicitly uses the words insubordinate to describe Comey's behavior. Fox News, "Joe diGenova: IG report is being scrubbed by Rosenstein," 6 June 2018 Is that -- is that insubordinate or is that responsible? Fox News, "Pence on impact of anonymous NYT op-ed, Woodward's new book," 9 Sep. 2018

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

circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for insubordinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of insubordinate was circa 1828

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Statistics for insubordinate

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insubordinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce insubordinate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insubordinate

formal : not obeying authority : refusing to follow orders


in·​sub·​or·​di·​nate | \ ˌin-sə-ˈbȯr-də-nət How to pronounce insubordinate (audio) \

Kids Definition of insubordinate

: not obeying authority : disobedient

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More from Merriam-Webster on insubordinate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insubordinate

Spanish Central: Translation of insubordinate

Nglish: Translation of insubordinate for Spanish Speakers

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