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[in-sin-yoo-ey-shuh n] /ɪnˌsɪn yuˈeɪ ʃən/
an indirect or covert suggestion or hint, especially of a derogatory nature:
She made nasty insinuations about her rivals.
covert or artful suggestion or hinting, as of something implied:
His methods of insinuation are most ingenious.
subtle or artful instillment into the mind.
the art or power of stealing into the affections and pleasing; ingratiation:
He made his way by flattery and insinuation.
Archaic. a slow winding, worming, or stealing in.
Obsolete. an ingratiating act or speech.
Origin of insinuation
First recorded in 1520-30, insinuation is from the Latin word insinuātion- (stem of insinuātiō). See insinuate, -ion
Related forms
preinsinuation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for insinuation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The anecdote is more valuable; for it instances the ways and means of French insinuation.

    Biographia Literaria Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Sylvia does not need your pity," cried Beecot, stung by the insinuation.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • I was so astounded at the plainness of her insinuation that I could not reply for some moments.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • "I scorn the insinuation, Mr. Checkynshaw," replied Fitz, indignantly.

    Make or Break Oliver Optic
  • Most women under the circumstances would have fired up—repelled the insinuation angrily.

    Renshaw Fanning's Quest Bertram Mitford
  • The young face reddened at the insinuation that he might betray a secret.

    A Black Adonis Linn Boyd Porter
British Dictionary definitions for insinuation


an indirect or devious hint or suggestion
the act or practice of insinuating
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 insinuation

1520s, from Latin insinuationem (nominative insinuatio) "entrance through a narrow way; an ingratiating oneself," noun of action from past participle stem of insinuare (see insinuate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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