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[in-sip-ee-uh ns] /ɪnˈsɪp i əns/
noun, Archaic.
lack of wisdom; foolishness.
Origin of insipience
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin insipientia foolishness, equivalent to insipient- stem of insipiēns foolish (in- in-3 + -sipient-, combining form of sapient- sapient) + -ia; see -ence
Related forms
insipient, adjective
insipiently, adverb
Can be confused
incipient, insipid, insipient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insipient
Historical Examples
  • In other words it is the negative quality of passiveness either in recoverable latency or insipient latescence.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for insipient


(archaic) lack of wisdom
Derived Forms
insipient, adjective
insipiently, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin insipientia, from in-1 + sapientia wisdom; see sapient
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 insipient

"foolish," mid-15c., from Latin insipientem (nominative insipiens) "unwise, foolish," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sapientem (see sapient). "Now mostly, or wholly, disused to avoid confusion with incipient" [OED].



early 15c., "lack of wisdom, foolishness," from Old French insipience, from Latin insipientia "folly," from insipientem (see insipient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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