insult

verb
in·​sult | \ in-ˈsəlt \
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 \

Definition of insult (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from insult

Verb

insulter noun
insultingly \ in-​ˈsəl-​tiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for insult

Synonyms: Verb

affront, dis (also diss) [slang], disrespect, offend, outrage, slap, slight, wound

Synonyms: Noun

affront, barb, brickbat, cut, dart, dig, dis (also diss) [slang], epithet, gird, indignity, name, offense (or offence), outrage, personality, poke, put-down, sarcasm, slap, slight, slur

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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 video also shows her using profanities to describe her experience at the bank and repeatedly insulting the state. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Attorney says Egyptian activist to return to jail any time," 1 Jan. 2019 Beijing Bytedance Technology, which runs popular apps such as the news aggregation platform Jinri Toutiao and the short-video service Douyin, was taken to task twice over the summer for spreading content that insulted national heroes. Liza Lin, WSJ, "Alibaba’s Jack Ma Denies Beijing Forced Him Out," 18 Sep. 2018 Two advertisers have pulled their ads from Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal after the comedian insulted Ivanka Trump in an absolutely obscene fashion. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Samantha Bee Boycott, Martha Stewart Pardon, and Board Diversity Excuses: Broadsheet for June 1," 1 June 2018 But as time moved on, Kardashian West’s fame rose and the two grew apart, even insulting each other in the press. Mariah Haas, PEOPLE.com, "Paris Hilton Gushes About Former Frenemy Kim Kardashian West: 'She's Beautiful Inside and Out'," 19 Apr. 2018 As if being insulted in print by your boss isn’t enough, a federal judge on Thursday threatened to hold the attorney general in contempt of court for deporting a mother and daughter even as their asylum case is being adjudicated. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Is the Blue Wave Spooking “Your Favorite President?”," 12 Aug. 2018 Armie Hammer insulted a journalist who dared to write a negative thinkpiece about his acting career. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Ariana Grande’s greatest asset isn’t her amazing voice. It’s her resilience.," 11 Nov. 2018 When Trump insulted Acosta at the press conference, a White House intern approached him and tried to physically remove a microphone from his hands. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018 Trump insulted Cruz’s wife during the 2016 campaign and even suggested Cruz’s dad may have played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Billy House, The Seattle Times, "‘Lyin’ Ted’ gets visit from ‘Sleazy Donald’ with Texas rally; will it help or hurt?," 22 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s fatcalling, which differs from catcalling in its intent to insult, and fatphobic rape threats, like the kind filmmaker Lindsey Averill received for having the nerve to be plus-size on the internet. Nora Whelan, SELF, "Believing Women Means Believing the Plus-Size Ones, Too," 21 Nov. 2018 The monthslong stretch in which the president fired insults and attacks at his top law-enforcement official has no precedent in recent memory, according to longtime Justice Department watchers. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Attorney General Jeff Sessions Pushed Out of Trump White House," 7 Nov. 2018 Last year, Trump and Kim were trading insults and threats and Kim was launching his missiles at a record pace. Eric Talmadge, Fox News, "North Korea wraps up 70th anniversary with mass rally," 10 Sep. 2018 So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insults and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Read Barack Obama’s eulogy for Sen. John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 According to the civil lawsuit filed last Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court, Staples reported the insults and the questionable corporate practices to various managers, including to CEO Elon Musk himself, who seemingly took no action. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Ex-SolarCity employees: We were fired after reporting millions in fake sales," 31 July 2018 But the hourlong affair was laden with insults and taunts, as both men paid loud and often simultaneous tribute to the acrimony that has typified the campaign leading up to their June 26 Republican primary. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "One’s a Felon? Eh. G.O.P. Debate Focuses on Who’s Most Like Trump.," 11 June 2018 Adding insult to injury, both Musk and Bezos have an eye on human interplanetary exploration, with Blue Origin looking at the moon and SpaceX fixated on Mars. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Virgin Galactic Hype Totally Misses the Point," 13 Dec. 2018 For mental illness to be lumped with bad behavior is an intolerable insult to the mentally ill. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why attempts to diagnose Jake Paul as a sociopath are even worse than doing it with Trump," 9 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for insult

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insult

The first known use of insult was in 1540

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More Definitions for insult

insult

verb

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

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 \
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 \

Kids Definition of insult (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or statement showing disrespect

insult

noun
in·​sult | \ ˈin-ˌsəlt \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on insult

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insult

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insult

Spanish Central: Translation of insult

Nglish: Translation of insult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insult for Arabic Speakers

Comments on insult

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