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[in-suh-luh nt] /ˈɪn sə lənt/
boldly rude or disrespectful; contemptuously impertinent; insulting:
an insolent reply.
an insolent person.
Origin of insolent
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin insolent- (stem of insolēns) departing from custom, equivalent to in- in-3 + sol- (stem of solēre to be accustomed) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
insolently, adverb
overinsolent, adjective
overinsolently, adverb
1. brazen; contemptuous. See impertinent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insolently
Historical Examples
  • Here in our American cities are the overwealthy and the insolently worldly people.

    Preaching and Paganism Albert Parker Fitch
  • “Maybe and maybe not,” said the other insolently, and walked off.

    The Free Range Francis William Sullivan
  • "Never mind Mr. Wentworth; it's your part in the transaction that we are after," he said insolently.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
  • Scarlett uttered a mocking laugh, which was insolently echoed by his men.

    Crown and Sceptre George Manville Fenn
  • Then shoot me that Highland scoundrel who dares look on me so insolently.

    A Daughter of Raasay William MacLeod Raine
  • “We cannot take the word of an heretic,” said the officer, insolently.

    Villegagnon W.H.G. Kingston
  • "Ye won't see me that day or any other," says the fellow, insolently, sticking his hat on his head with a defiant gesture.

    Rossmoyne Unknown
  • "I work no more for you, skipper," Tai-Hotauri said insolently and loudly.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • Soon after the wedding Pedro left his bride, and insolently avowed that he had only experienced a passing passion for her.

    The Story of Seville Walter M. Gallichan
  • The contrivance, if a contrivance, to get me away, so insolently mean!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for insolently


offensive, impudent, or disrespectful
Derived Forms
insolence, noun
insolently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin insolens, from in-1 + solēre to be accustomed
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 insolently



late 14c., "contemptuous, arrogant, haughty," from Latin insolentem (nominative insolens) "arrogant, immoderate," literally "unusual," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + solentem, present participle of solere "be accustomed," which possibly is related to sodalis "close companion," and to suescere "become used to." Meaning "contemptuous of rightful authority" is from 1670s. Related: Insolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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