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[in-si-kyoo r] /ˌɪn sɪˈkyʊər/
subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured:
an insecure person.
not confident or certain; uneasy; anxious:
He was insecure about the examination.
not secure; exposed or liable to risk, loss, or danger:
an insecure stock portfolio.
not firmly or reliably placed or fastened:
an insecure ladder.
Origin of insecure
From the Medieval Latin word insēcūrus, dating back to 1640-50. See in-3, secure
Related forms
insecurely, adverb
insecureness, noun
3. risky.
Synonym Study
3. See uncertain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insecurely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was carrying, insecurely, a jug of poppy-head and camomile, which had been prescribed as a lotion.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Either the gate had been insecurely fastened or else the latch had been broken.

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
  • The cover at one end was insecurely fastened and was blown off.

    Records of Steam Boiler Explosions Edward Bindon Marten
  • The door, insecurely shut, could not withstand the eighty-pound impact.

    Lad: A Dog Albert Payson Terhune
  • When the insecurely fastened log had crept out five inches, it took just one more vigorous cast to finish the business.

    The Cinder Pond Carroll Watson Rankin
  • The extra weight thus produced was partly responsible for the thinning of the insecurely founded south wall.

  • And I trust that there will come a time when the English people may see the folly of building basely and insecurely.

  • But it kept as insecurely as skeleton in open cupboard; not a moment was the letter off his mind.

    Denis Dent Ernest W. Hornung
  • For back of the lightness, excitement, altogether too insecurely barred, was making a dash for liberty.

British Dictionary definitions for insecurely


anxious or afraid; not confident or certain
not adequately protected: an insecure fortress
unstable or shaky
Derived Forms
insecurely, adverb
insecureness, noun
insecurity, noun
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 insecurely



1640s, "unsafe," from Medieval Latin insecurus, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin securus (see secure). Psychological sense dates from 1935; insecurity in this sense dates from 1917. Related: Insecurely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insecurely in Medicine

insecure in·se·cure (ĭn'sĭ-kyur')

  1. Lacking emotional stability; not well-adjusted.

  2. Lacking self-confidence; plagued by anxiety.

in'se·cu'ri·ty (-kyur'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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