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

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 It has been used by politicians to insult former first lady Michelle Obama, by U.S. presidents to criticize U.N. delegates and by the founders of modern political thought to term people with black skin as subhuman. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "A black TV host’s co-anchor compared him to a gorilla. He responded with humanity.," 27 Aug. 2019 But what of comments or behavior that, while insulting, arguably occupy a grey zone? Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Is it ever okay to express your anger by emailing someone else’s boss?," 27 Aug. 2019 Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Buzzfeed Few people, especially politicians, can stand to be insulted. Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Trump Attacks. De Blasio Strikes Back, and Hopes Voters Notice.," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hicks makes her so funny with her woe-is-me nagging, misguided seduction attempt and obnoxious putdowns that the racist insults sting all the harder — although the audience then struggles whether to laugh or recoil. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Bye Bye Birdie’ sits uneasily in modern times | Review," 20 July 2019 On other social networks, when professional and elite athletes post a workout, their comments can become overrun by snark, trolls, and insults, says clinical sports psychologist (and Strava user) Kristin Keim, drawing on her clients’ experiences. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "The Coach That Meets You in Your Inbox," 24 June 2019 Along with the angry braying and ornate insults that were the soundtrack to Brexit debates this past year in the British Parliament, there was, for better or worse, a certain kind of choreography that kept proceedings on track. BostonGlobe.com, "When a security team finally tore the lawmakers away, the speaker, John Bercow, remained studiously seated, causing one of the BBC commentators to marvel under her voice, “He’s not going to go.”," 11 Sep. 2019 While Trump hurls insults, the long-shot challengers are bringing attention to government spending and other issues. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "Mark Sanford will battle Donald Trump in the Republican primary," 8 Sep. 2019 The design competition follows years of debate over whether the existing City Hall wall art is a worthy ode to St. Paul’s roots as a port city or a demeaning insult to communities of color. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Historical society hosts competition for rotating replacements for St. Paul City Council’s controversial wall art," 8 Sep. 2019 And their decision, a week later, to Instagram a picture of Archie’s feet in honor of Mother’s Day in the U.S. was deemed a final insult by some reporters. K.j. Yossman, Marie Claire, "Inside the Cutthroat World of Royal Gossips," 5 Sep. 2019 Best known as a writer for those warm-and-fuzzy Comedy Central Roasts, Tony Hinchcliffe is one of those insult comics, an expert at the put-down. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "Weekend preview: Help for the Bahamas at LunkerCon, Tarpon River Brewing," 5 Sep. 2019 The fight grew to about 40 participants, with a smaller group trading blows and the rest exchanging insults, Robillard said. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "40-person brawl at water park started over beach towel," 26 Aug. 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

3 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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