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[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.
Origin of insinuate
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 insinuative
Historical Examples
  • "I don't deny there are plenty of ghosts about," he answered with insinuative deference.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • A voice, which was unctuous and insinuative, emanated from the figure.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • The contractor had caught no sign revealing whether his insinuative words were having effect.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • The little poet was as insinuative and volcanic (by turns) as ever.

  • They form an agreeable contrast to the chaos of oppressive learning of the time, and have an insinuative air about them.

British Dictionary definitions for insinuative


(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 insinuative



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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