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[verb in-suhlt; noun in-suhlt] /verb ɪnˈsʌlt; noun ˈɪn sʌlt/
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.
  1. an injury or trauma.
  2. an agent that inflicts this.
Archaic. an attack or assault.
Origin of insult
1560-70; < Latin insultāre to jump on, insult, equivalent to in- in-2 + -sultāre, combining form of saltāre to jump; see saltant
Related forms
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insulter
Historical Examples
  • The scion of the Broons, fired for the honour of his house, drove straight at the mouth of the insulter.

    The House with the Green Shutters George Douglas Brown
  • But affliction had tempered him, and his insulter's hairs were gray.

  • In an instant, Sir Richard was upon the lawn without, face to face with his insulter.

  • Michael could not see the insult, nor the insulter, but Nicholas saw for him.

    Michael Strogoff Jules Verne
  • Angry, Mike threw the ball in the opposite direction and flashed back a short sentence that gave his opinion about his insulter.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
  • She struck at her insulter with clenched hand; but she did not touch him, for just then something happened to him.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
  • The fair Evangelina scorned the proposal, and, in a whirlwind of indignation, fled from her insulter's presence.

    Cuba Past and Present Richard Davey
  • Chest heaving, eyes blazing, the Cree chieftain strained a moment after his insulter.

  • Arrogante, who was watching for him, at once knew the tread of his horse, and stood grimly awaiting his insulter.

    Minnie's Pet Dog Madeline Leslie
  • Sir Charles shook her off, and looked wildly round for a weapon to strike his insulter with.

    A Terrible Temptation Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for insulter


verb (transitive) (ɪnˈsʌlt)
to treat, mention, or speak to rudely; offend; affront
(obsolete) to assault; attack
noun (ˈɪnsʌlt)
an offensive or contemptuous remark or action; affront; slight
a person or thing producing the effect of an affront: some television is an insult to intelligence
(med) an injury or trauma
add insult to injury, to make an unfair or unacceptable situation even worse
Derived Forms
insulter, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin insultāre to jump upon, from in-² + saltāre to jump
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 insulter



1560s, "triumph over in an arrogant way," from Middle French insulter (14c.) and directly from Latin insultare "to assail, to leap upon" (already used by Cicero in sense of "insult, scoff at, revile"), frequentative of insilire "leap at or upon," from in- "on, at" (see in- (2)) + salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sense of "to verbally abuse, affront, assail with disrespect" is from 1610s. Related: Insulted; insulting.


c.1600 in the sense of "attack;" 1670s as "an act of insulting," from Middle French insult (14c.) or directly from Late Latin insultus, from insilire (see insult (v.)). To add insult to injury translates Latin injuriae contumeliam addere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insulter in Medicine

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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Idioms and Phrases with insulter


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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