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in·​sult·​ing in-ˈsəl-tiŋ How to pronounce insulting (audio)
: giving or intended to give offense : being or containing an insult (see insult entry 2 sense 1)
Without the wit, of course, such sentiments would be construed as deeply insultingThe American Scholar
… pasted insulting bumper stickers on their vehicles …James A. Michener
… considered the proposal so impracticable as to be insulting.Alice Adams
The book is "dumbed down" to an almost insulting level.Joel Bangilan
insultingly adverb
But always his triumphs are the triumphs of a highly sensitive man: a man must feel insults before he can so insultingly and splendidly avenge them. G. K. Chesterton
He is a gifted preacher, fashioning sermons that are neither inaccessibly erudite nor insultingly shallow. Kevin Sack


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present participle of insult entry 1

Examples of insulting in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This crude and insulting decision is starkly reminiscent of the high-handed Hollywood of the studio era. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 While there are suggestions that Lake is running a more professional campaign focused on taking down Gallego, on Wednesday Lake posted an insulting social media message noting Nikki Haley’s departure from the Republican presidential race. The Arizona Republic, 8 Mar. 2024 Even more insulting, PG&E continues profligate spending on massive advertising campaigns, widespread litigation and needless projects such as tree-cutting above gas pipelines. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 1 Mar. 2024 Democrats lambasted the speech as racist and insulting to Black voters. Matt Brown The Associated Press,, 25 Feb. 2024 Jeff Green Irvine :: I’ve been appalled and disgusted by the insulting comments made by a number of readers questioning Shohei Ohtani’s involvement in Ippei Mizuhara’s gambling. Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2024 On one hand, said Rhonda Sherrod, who ran for a Democratic Illinois Senate seat this year, these moves to appeal to Black voters rely on racist stereotypes and can be insulting. Curtis Bunn, NBC News, 8 Mar. 2024 DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said the letter is insulting to the work federal investigators have been doing. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 27 Feb. 2024 Last month, former prime minister and ruling party kingmaker Taro Aso was criticized over what were considered insulting and sexist comments about the foreign minister’s appearance and age. Mari Yamaguchi, Quartz, 22 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insulting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insulting was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near insulting

Cite this Entry

“Insulting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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