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
insultingly \ in-​ˈsəl-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce insultingly (audio) \ 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

Bolsonaro has insulted adversaries and allies, disparaged women, black and gay people, and even praised his country's 1964-1985 dictatorship. Anchorage Daily News, "G-7 pledges funds to fight Amazon fires," 26 Aug. 2019 The group also insulted women and mocked constituents, including victims of Hurricane Maria. CBS News, "Puerto Rico officials tied to online chat ordered to surrender cellphones," 23 July 2019 Trump’s tweets created fury among many British politicians and officials, who found themselves insulted by the president’s decision to have the administration cut off contact with their ambassador. Patrick Cant, The Mercury News, "UK diplomat out after Trump calls him a ‘fool’," 10 July 2019 French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday continued his feud with Bolsonaro, who has endorsed a Facebook post insulting Macron's wife. Anchorage Daily News, "G-7 pledges funds to fight Amazon fires," 26 Aug. 2019 The Ukrainian media devoted some attention to claims that Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, insulted Ukrainians by throwing a piece of bread offered to her at a welcome ceremony to the ground. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Netanyahu wades into the debate on Ukraine’s Holocaust record in commemoration speech," 20 Aug. 2019 Senior politician Rosy Bindi’s appearance has been insulted (link in Italian) by a list of politicians, including Silvio Berlusconi. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Italy’s new agriculture minister is truly of the people—and she’s kryptonite for populists," 7 Sep. 2019 Second, ask anyone who has ever played tennis (or any sport for that matter) at any level their reaction to competing against someone not giving a 100% effort... they are insulted. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Can Serena Williams Win the U.S. Open?," 14 Aug. 2019 Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was a big influence speaking out on Turner, who is not afraid to talk about gun control or being insulted by the idea of lowering the rim a foot for women on social media. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Turner didn't expect instant gratification in WNBA, but that changed as Mercury starter," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He was put on the court through a sham process, and his place on the court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The New Brett Kavanaugh Revelations Prove the Original FBI Investigation Was a Sham," 16 Sep. 2019 He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. chicagotribune.com, "Trump dismisses new allegation against Brett Kavanaugh as ‘lies,’ while some 2020 Democratic candidates call for justice’s impeachment," 15 Sep. 2019 The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What Have You Done, Richard Linklater?," 19 Aug. 2019 For certain men, being shown up by a man is not an insult, because the two men are on equal footing gender-wise. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "This (Wo)Man’s Work," 19 July 2019 This is actually an insult to the Christians on our team. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "Ashlyn Harris hits back at claim USWNT doesn’t welcome Christianity," 17 July 2019 This is actually an insult to the Christians on our team. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "USWNT's Ashlyn Harris Calls Ex-Teammate 'Homophobic' After She Declined Call-Up Over Pride Jersey," 16 July 2019 To bring his unique style to life, the man at the base of the midfield-three must be more than a Claude Makelele type, though that is no insult to the Frenchman, who was merely part of a different system. SI.com, "Rodri: Statistically the Perfect Midfielder for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City," 4 July 2019 The pabulum that passes for most reviews is an insult to the intelligence of most readers. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019

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

17 Oct 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 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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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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