[v. in-suhlt; n. in-suhlt]
verb (used with object)
to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront.
to affect as an affront; offend or demean.
Archaic. to attack; assault.
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to behave with insolent triumph; exult contemptuously (usually followed by on, upon, or over ).
an insolent or contemptuously rude action or remark; affront.
something having the effect of an affront: That book is an insult to one's intelligence.
an injury or trauma.
an agent that inflicts this.
Archaic. an attack or assault.

1560–70; < Latin insultāre to jump on, insult, equivalent to in- in-2 + -sultāre, combining form of saltāre to jump; see saltant

insultable, adjective
insulter, noun
preinsult, verb (used with object)
quasi-insulted, adjective
uninsultable, adjective
uninsulted, adjective

1. offend, scorn, injure, abuse. 5. offense, outrage. Insult, indignity, affront, slight imply an act that injures another's honor, self-respect, etc. Insult implies such insolence of speech or manner as deeply humiliates or wounds one's feelings and arouses to anger. Indignity is especially used of inconsiderate, contemptuous treatment toward one entitled to respect. Affront implies open disrespect or offense shown, as it were, to the face. Slight may imply inadvertent indifference or disregard, which may also indicate ill-concealed contempt.

1, 5. compliment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  to treat, mention, or speak to rudely; offend; affront
2.  obsolete to assault; attack
3.  an offensive or contemptuous remark or action; affront; slight
4.  a person or thing producing the effect of an affront: some television is an insult to intelligence
5.  med an injury or trauma
6.  add insult to injury to make an unfair or unacceptable situation even worse
[C16: from Latin insultāre to jump upon, from in-² + saltāre to jump]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1570, "triumph over in an arrogant way," from L. insultare "to assail, to leap upon" (already used by Cicero in sense of "insult, scoff at, revile"), freq. of insilire "leap at or upon," from in- "on, at" + salire "to leap" (see salient). Sense of "to verbally abuse, affront,
assail with disrespect" is from 1620. The noun is recorded 1603 in the sense of "attack;" 1671 as "an act of insulting." To add insult to injury translates L. injuriæ contumeliam addere.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

insult in·sult (ĭn'sŭlt')
A bodily injury, irritation, or trauma.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see add insult to injury.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Venom sells, and the guests broke up at each four-letter insult.
Use humor to control behavior, don't outright insult them as people.
Also, to insult people anonymously says even more about the character of these
Declining to drink this offering is considered an insult.
Idioms & Phrases
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