insult

verb
in·​sult | \ in-ˈsəlt How to pronounce insult (audio) \
insulted; insulting; insults

Definition of insult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat with insolence, indignity, or contempt : affront also : to affect offensively or damagingly doggerel that insults the reader's intelligence

intransitive verb

archaic : to behave with pride or arrogance : vaunt

insult

noun
in·​sult | \ ˈin-ˌsəlt How to pronounce insult (audio) \

Definition of insult (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a gross indignity : an instance of insolent or contemptuous speech or conduct
2 : injury to the body or one of its parts also : something that causes or has a potential for causing such injury pollution and other environmental insults

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Other Words from insult

Verb

insulter noun

Synonyms for insult

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for insult

Verb

offend, outrage, affront, insult mean to cause hurt feelings or deep resentment. offend need not imply an intentional hurting but it may indicate merely a violation of the victim's sense of what is proper or fitting. hoped that my remarks had not offended her outrage implies offending beyond endurance and calling forth extreme feelings. outraged by their accusations affront implies treating with deliberate rudeness or contemptuous indifference to courtesy. deeply affronted by his callousness insult suggests deliberately causing humiliation, hurt pride, or shame. insulted every guest at the party

Examples of insult in a Sentence

Verb She felt they had insulted her by repeatedly ignoring her questions. We were greatly insulted by his rudeness. They're understandably insulted when no one asks for their opinion on a matter that affects them so much. Noun The fans hurled insults at the referee as he walked off the field after the game. Their decision to cancel the project was an insult to all my hard work. They got into a fight over a minor insult.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Warriors wouldn’t insult Klay Thompson by crowding the picture upon his return next season. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Chase Center was empty, and so was the Warriors’ game," 1 Jan. 2021 Finding clever ways to insult soggy vegetables has never been a full realization of a critic’s talent and intelligence—and right now, the food world needs that intelligence and experience more than ever. Theodore Gioia, The New Republic, "Death to the Negative Restaurant Review," 16 Dec. 2020 This brutal simplification—picturing the sharp-minded reviewer not as a craftsman or surgeon but a murderer—is the ultimate outcome of long-term exposure to insult criticism. Theodore Gioia, The New Republic, "Death to the Negative Restaurant Review," 16 Dec. 2020 In shades of Oakland’s dealings with Miguel Tejada after the 2002 season, the A’s might not even make Semien an offer, not wanting to insult him with a subpar package. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "Virtual winter meetings might feature virtually no action for financially strapped A’s," 7 Dec. 2020 This summer, the city's Education Bureau issued new guidelines, requiring Hong Kong schools to play the Chinese anthem during important holidays, and to report to the police those who insult the song. Selina Wang And Rebecca Wright, CNN, "Hong Kong's new rules have created confusion in the classroom. Some parents are pulling their children out," 18 Nov. 2020 One woman, a doctor for Britain’s National Health Service, said payments would insult patients’ dignity. Peter Coy, Bloomberg.com, "Should You Be Paid for Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine?," 16 Nov. 2020 Americans turned to social media to hunt for news, offer opinions and, well, in some cases insult their presidential candidate of choice. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Election report card: 'Social media has not been fair,' Trump and Biden supporters grade Facebook and Twitter," 5 Nov. 2020 Several users on social media were quick to fire back at Schlapp, slamming her intention to insult Biden via Mr. Rogers, who was famously known to be patient, inclusive, and kind. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "'Friendship, empathy, kindness, and compassion': Biden leans into Mr. Rogers comparison," 21 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What these journalists seem oblivious to is that this can be an insult to their audiences, implying the mere reader isn't smart enough to determine the truth for himself. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: Lying in wait," 14 Dec. 2020 The alternate reality is an insult to viewers, writes Greg Braxton. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Hospitals’ desperate measures," 16 Dec. 2020 To add insult to injury, with the temperatures dropping across the country, that hunched-over winter posture could be creeping in, too. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Relieve tight shoulders with this 5-minute routine," 15 Dec. 2020 To add insult to injury, the state hasn’t given guidance about what to do with the tests. cincinnati.com, "Help support quality local journalism like this.," 10 Dec. 2020 As if to add insult to injury, Gorsuch then wrote another opinion, in McGirt v. Oklahoma, using his version of Scalia’s legal methodology to recognize the Creek Nation as sovereign over a large area of eastern Oklahoma. Noah Feldman, The New York Review of Books, "The Battle Over Scalia’s Legacy," 1 Dec. 2020 The importer who brought Annabelle into America named her after his wife, meant as an insult to both. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "How a 1960s publicity stunt landed a baby elephant named Annabelle in Alaska," 7 Dec. 2020 Biden, by contrast, has embraced what was initially meant as an insult from a Trump campaign adviser: That the former vice president's style came off like an episode of the children's television show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Final Trump vs. Biden debate: Brace for another barroom brawl despite the new mute button," 21 Oct. 2020 His comments were seen as an insult to the Narendra Modi government, which led the prime minister’s supporters to even downgraded Snapdeal’s app rating on Google Play Store. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Tanishq is only the latest brand to face the ire of India’s easily offended right wing," 14 Oct. 2020

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

Verb

1540, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insult

Verb

Middle French or Latin; Middle French insulter, from Latin insultare, literally, to spring upon, from in- + saltare to leap — more at saltation

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Time Traveler for insult

Time Traveler

The first known use of insult was in 1540

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Statistics for insult

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insult.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insult. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for insult

insult

verb
How to pronounce insult (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to do or say something that is offensive to (someone) : to do or say something that shows a lack of respect for (someone)

insult

noun
How to pronounce insult (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insult (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rude or offensive act or statement : something that insults someone

insult

verb
in·​sult | \ in-ˈsəlt How to pronounce insult (audio) \
insulted; insulting

Kids Definition of insult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to treat or speak to with disrespect You insulted them by leaving early.

insult

noun
in·​sult | \ ˈin-ˌsəlt How to pronounce insult (audio) \

Kids Definition of insult (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or statement showing disrespect

insult

noun
in·​sult | \ ˈin-ˌsəlt How to pronounce insult (audio) \

Medical Definition of insult

1 : injury to the body or one of its parts repeated acute vascular insults any insult to the constitution of a patient suffering from active tuberculosisJournal of the American Medical Association
2 : something that causes or has a potential for causing insult to the body damage resulting from malnutritional insults

Other Words from insult

insult verb

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Comments on insult

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