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

Just don’t dismiss them as ill-informed, don’t insult them with condescension. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Stick to sports? No, we need more athletes like Oscar Robertson.," 26 June 2018 Such false allegations are insulting to the victims of the Holocaust, to all Jewish people, and to anyone who honors the truth. Niraj Chokshi, New York Times, "Smears of George Soros Resurface in Roseanne’s Twitter Tantrum," 29 May 2018 Donald Trump has insulted Oprah Winfrey and challenged the TV star to challenge him in the 2020 presidential election. David Meyer, Fortune, "Trump Slams 'Insecure' Oprah and Says He Hopes She Runs for President," 19 Feb. 2018 While Trump is insulting Latin Americans, the Chinese are courting them. Andrés Oppenheimer, miamiherald, "U.S. insults pushing Latin America into China’s arms | Miami Herald," 3 Feb. 2018 And anyway, isn't this question a tad insulting to our partners? Alice Bradley, Redbook, "Go Ahead, Hire That Hot Nanny!," 11 Jan. 2011 Enter Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who spent his last cent of shame calling voters on behalf of a candidate who publicly insulted his wife's appearance and insinuated his father was involved in the JFK assassination. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Former Shutdown Leader Ted Cruz Claims He Has Consistently Opposed Shutdowns," 22 Jan. 2018 Folger never meant to be insulting, and folks back then appreciated the jokes. Jeff Suess, Cincinnati.com, "Our history: Folger’s cartoon ‘The Girls’ poked ‘gentle fun’," 23 Apr. 2018 The president’s approval rating in Latin America is extraordinarily low, and leaders there have been insulted by his rhetoric against immigrants and alarmed by his threats to use military force in Venezuela. Eileen Sullivan And Julie Hirschfield Davis, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump Cancels Trip to Latin America, Citing Crisis in Syria," 11 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Traister has become one of the most prominent voices—if not the voice—of 21st-century feminism, for her insightful, timely responses to the injustices and insults still suffered all too frequently by women and other disadvantaged populations. Vogue, "Looking for Something to Read? Here Are 4 New Books Vogue Editors Are Loving Right Now," 26 Oct. 2018 But other insults can do the same thing: the body uses cortisol to tamp down inflammation, for example. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Don’t stress out yet about stress shrinking your brain," 25 Oct. 2018 Waiting for the day when supporting one successful dope woman does not mean insult to other successful dope women. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lauren Jauregui Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her "Expectations" Video Shoot," 24 Oct. 2018 Waiting for the day when supporting one successful dope woman does not mean insult to other successful dope women. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Lauren Jauregui and Normani React to Tiffany Haddish's Diss at the 2018 MTV VMAs," 22 Aug. 2018 His insults, abuse, and hostility made me break down in tears, which, surprise, is not very conducive to exercise. David Levesley, GQ, "The Sweaty Homophobia of the Gym," 25 May 2018 And the reference to the effect of her insult on its targets and bystanders, rather than to its motivation and character, is an old, old dodge — an apology if anyone is insulted by a manifestly insulting statement is no apology at all. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "David Hogg's call for a boycott of Laura Ingraham is in the best tradition of democracy," 2 Apr. 2018 Her best smackdowns are impossible to fully appreciate now: The men they were directed toward have deleted their original insults, presumably embarrassed by the verbal beating. Monica Hesse, Sun-Sentinel.com, "For Stormy Daniels, swatting away Twitter trolls is a work of art," 12 Mar. 2018 To say Diaz has been good this season would be an insult. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Who saw Odor delivering the winning hit? Maybe we should have," 30 May 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

14 Nov 2018

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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Comments on insult

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