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[im-pur-tn-uh ns] /ɪmˈpɜr tn əns/
unmannerly intrusion or presumption; insolence.
impertinent quality or action.
something impertinent, as an act or statement.
an impertinent person.
irrelevance, inappropriateness, or absurdity.
Origin of impertinence
1595-1605; impertin(ency) + -ence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impertinence
Historical Examples
  • Goaded into fury by the impertinence of a boy, he had used insulting words.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I have already given you specimens of Mrs. Betty's impertinence.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Page 234The stranger looked at him as if strongly disposed to chastise his impertinence.

    Jack Sheppard William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Only the emergency could have spurred him to the point of so outrageous an impertinence.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • Then certain expressions, the impertinence of which had not struck him at first, chilled him now.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • Your coming here is an affront, an impertinence, an audacity.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • It is an impertinence, this theory, and an insult to natural human instincts.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
  • I fancy you lie, sir; and you sha'n't have Harriet, for your impertinence.

  • Every pen stopped, every head was raised, astounded by my impertinence.

    Home Life in Germany Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
  • In this impertinence is the only noteworthy fault we discover in the book.

British Dictionary definitions for impertinence


disrespectful behaviour or language; rudeness; insolence
an impertinent act, gesture, etc
(rare) lack of pertinence; irrelevance; inappropriateness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impertinence

c.1600, from French impertinence, from Medieval Latin impertinentia, from Late Latin impertinentem "not belonging" (see impertinent). Impertinency is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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