in·​sub·​or·​di·​nate ˌin(t)-sə-ˈbȯr-də-nət How to pronounce insubordinate (audio)
: disobedient to authority
insubordinate noun
insubordinately adverb

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 Be sure to negotiate this with your boss so that you aren’t viewed as insubordinate or uncaring. Harriette Cole, The Mercury News, 31 Jan. 2024 The publication conducted three separate studies and consistently found that curious employees were seen by their leaders as insubordinate and, in turn, less likable. Byorianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 24 Nov. 2023 Little, reading the texts aloud, sought to paint the group as insubordinate employees who reveled in the tumultuous aftermath of their report. Philip Jankowski, Dallas News, 8 Sep. 2023 His predecessor, Hu Jintao, seemed to wield weak authority over the military top brass, and the leader before Mr. Hu, Jiang Zemin, struggled with an insubordinate commander. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2023 Over a period of six and half hours on the night of May 23, 2003, the group brutally beat Williams as punishment for reportedly lying to and being insubordinate to another member. Tsicking, oregonlive, 28 June 2023 Musk’s team was asked to comb through messages in Twitter’s internal chat platform and make a list of employees who were insubordinate, people briefed on the plan said. Ryan Mac,, 15 Nov. 2022 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, 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, 22 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insubordinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insubordinate was circa 1828

Dictionary Entries Near insubordinate

Cite this Entry

“Insubordinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​sub·​or·​di·​nate ˌin(t)-sə-ˈbȯrd-ᵊn-ət How to pronounce insubordinate (audio)
: not obeying authority : disobedient
insubordinately adverb
insubordination noun

More from Merriam-Webster on insubordinate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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