9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-sin-yoo-ey-ting] /ɪnˈsɪn yuˌeɪ tɪŋ/
tending to instill doubts, distrust, etc.; suggestive:
an insinuating letter.
gaining favor or winning confidence by artful means:
an insinuating manner.
Origin of insinuating
1585-95; insinuate + -ing2
Related forms
insinuatingly, adverb
half-insinuating, adjective
half-insinuatingly, adverb
preinsinuatingly, adverb
uninsinuating, adjective


[in-sin-yoo-eyt] /ɪnˈsɪn yuˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), insinuated, insinuating.
to suggest or hint slyly:
He insinuated that they were lying.
to instill or infuse subtly or artfully, as into the mind:
to insinuate doubts through propaganda.
to bring or introduce into a position or relation by indirect or artful methods:
to insinuate oneself into favor.
verb (used without object), insinuated, insinuating.
to make insinuations.
1520-30; < Latin insinuātus, past participle of insinuāre to work in, instill. See in-2, sinuous, -ate1
Related forms
[in-sin-yoo-ey-tiv, -yoo-uh-] /ɪnˈsɪn yuˌeɪ tɪv, -yu ə-/ (Show IPA),
[in-sin-yoo-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈsɪn yu əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
insinuatively, adverb
insinuator, noun
half-insinuated, adjective
preinsinuate, verb, preinsinuated, preinsinuating.
preinsinuative, adjective
uninsinuated, adjective
uninsinuative, adjective
1. See hint. 2. introduce, inject, inculcate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insinuating
  • Money often guides esthetic judgment, and at the city's two current jazz festivals money's subtle, insinuating hand is everywhere.
  • Please be careful about insinuating that mental illness equals violence.
  • Even worse, their money often goes toward insinuating and propagating distortions of the truth and/or blatant lies.
  • My best guess is that you are insinuating that pharmaceutical companies have an undue influence on psychiatry.
  • insinuating that commercial skippers are thieves hardly addresses the problem.
  • The former mayor is now insinuating that some of them may have been paid off.
  • In fact, he was a master of the insinuating ad lib and a natural at self-parody.
  • But in his derby and with an insinuating manner, he is soon able to establish a distinctive, suavely seedy personality.
  • With his insinuating voice, which became blatantly seductive the lower he sang, he scored a knockout.
  • Beneath the poker face of this wickedly entertaining film lurks an insinuating smirk on the verge of widening into a grin.
British Dictionary definitions for insinuating


(may take a clause as object) to suggest by indirect allusion, hints, innuendo, etc
(transitive) to introduce subtly or deviously
(transitive) to cause (someone, esp oneself) to be accepted by gradual approaches or manoeuvres
Derived Forms
insinuative, insinuatory, adjective
insinuator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin insinuāre to wind one's way into, from in-² + sinus curve
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 insinuating



1520s, from Latin insinuatus, past participle of insinuare "to throw in, push in, make a way; creep in, intrude, bring in by windings and curvings, wind one's way into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + sinuare "to wind, bend, curve," from sinus "a curve, winding." Sense of "to introduce tortuously or indirectly" is from 1640s. Related: Insinuated; insinuating; insinuatingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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