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

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 He was charged with seven counts that ranged from treasonable felony, cyber stalking, and money laundering to insulting president Buhari. Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, Quartz Africa, "A New York-based journalist has become the face of shrinking press freedom in Nigeria," 16 Nov. 2019 In 2018,​ Koehler's refusal to fill out an Ohio Gun Owners survey led Dorr to insult him online. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "How one Ohio gun-rights group aims to upend the public debate by scaring Republicans," 27 Aug. 2019 The scale and power of this online army was demonstrated when a boycott campaign resulted in the Elhiwar Ettounsi TV channel losing 1m followers from its Facebook page in a matter of hours after the owner insulted Saied. 1843, "Tunisia’s new president: how memes and viral videos led to a “Robocop” revolution," 18 Oct. 2019 His tweets have ranged from insulting and badgering his critics and enemies to announcing significant shifts in U.S. policy, but nothing sparked as much interest from his Twitter audience as rapper A$AP Rocky's release in August. USA Today, "Telling numbers from President Trump's first 1,000 days," 17 Oct. 2019 Animals are everywhere in this show: Characters insult each other through invocations of weasels and snakes and extinction-ready dinosaurs. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Why Succession Works So Well as Horror," 13 Oct. 2019 Logan insults everyone, and Shiv becomes hell-bent on destroying her father. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Succession Season 1: What You Need to Remember Before the New Season," 11 Aug. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If Jeff Sessions indeed runs for his old U.S. Senate seat, the focus will be on President Trump’s Twitter feed for the inevitable puke stream of insults and invective. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Jeff Sessions’ Senate bid puts knives in Republican backs," 7 Nov. 2019 First and foremost, it’s viewpoint character Lionel Essrog, an orphan born with a nervous condition that comes with physical tics and compulsive vocalization of insults and repetitive nonsense. Kerry Lengel,, Detroit Free Press, "‘Motherless Brooklyn’ is a noir tale for the #MeToo era," 31 Oct. 2019 First and foremost, it’s viewpoint character Lionel Essrog, an orphan born with a nervous condition that comes with physical tics and compulsive vocalization of insults and repetitive nonsense. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Review: Edward Norton's 'Motherless Brooklyn' is a retro-noir fable for the #MeToo era," 31 Oct. 2019 But during this election campaign, nastiness has been one of the only unifying themes, as parties trade insults and dig up scandals from coast to coast to coast. Paula Newton, CNN, "Buckle up -- Canada's election will be a cliffhanger," 20 Oct. 2019 Former minister Cecile Kyenge was targeted with terrible racist insults (link in Italian) about her appearance. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Italy’s new agriculture minister is truly of the people—and she’s kryptonite for populists," 7 Sep. 2019 Gay-rights activists in South Korea often have to contend with insults and threats of violence. The Economist, "Hecklers outnumber gay-festival-goers in South Korea," 5 Sep. 2019 The suspect, Kevin Watson, allegedly yelled insults and spat at Oestmann while sitting in the bar’s basement with his hands cuffed behind him. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Denver officer charged with beating handcuffed suspect resigns," 22 Aug. 2019 Hapgood, who is out on bail after posting a $74,000 bond, has been inundated with insults and threats. Errol Barnett, CBS News, "American man charged in death of Anguilla hotel worker facing death threats," 20 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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Time Traveler for insult

Time Traveler

The first known use of insult was in 1540

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Statistics for insult

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Insult.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insulting. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on insult

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insult

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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