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[in-sin-yoo-ey-shuh n] /ɪnˌsɪn yuˈeɪ ʃən/
an indirect or covert suggestion or hint, especially of a derogatory nature:
She made nasty insinuations about her rivals.
covert or artful suggestion or hinting, as of something implied:
His methods of insinuation are most ingenious.
subtle or artful instillment into the mind.
the art or power of stealing into the affections and pleasing; ingratiation:
He made his way by flattery and insinuation.
Archaic. a slow winding, worming, or stealing in.
Obsolete. an ingratiating act or speech.
Origin of insinuation
1520-30; < Latin insinuātion- (stem of insinuātiō). See insinuate, -ion
Related forms
preinsinuation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insinuation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The anecdote is more valuable; for it instances the ways and means of French insinuation.

    Biographia Literaria Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • He was an adept in the art of insinuation; besides that, he knew "every one."

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • I was so astounded at the plainness of her insinuation that I could not reply for some moments.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • But she, too, was stung to wrath by the insinuation which his words contained.

    Kept in the Dark Anthony Trollope
  • Most women under the circumstances would have fired up—repelled the insinuation angrily.

    Renshaw Fanning's Quest Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for insinuation


an indirect or devious hint or suggestion
the act or practice of insinuating
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 insinuation

1520s, from Latin insinuationem (nominative insinuatio) "entrance through a narrow way; an ingratiating oneself," noun of action from past participle stem of insinuare (see insinuate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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