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[in-suh-luh ns] /ˈɪn sə ləns/
contemptuously rude or impertinent behavior or speech.
the quality or condition of being insolent.
Origin of insolence
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Latin word insolentia. See insolent, -ence
Related forms
overinsolence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insolence
Historical Examples
  • And then her insolence reached its culmination in a query of her own: "Was his name Griggs?"

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • He excludes "the insolence of office," and "the cutpurse of the empire and the rule."

  • I asked if this was her own insolence, or her young mistress's observation?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • And Mr. Lovelace's insolence will make me go very home with myself.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Not even her wrath at the girl's insolence could wholly overcome her wonder.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew Josephine Preston Peabody
  • "Good-night," he said, with an insolence far too fine for the butcher's comprehension.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • I remained there, amazed and confused by the insolence of this ignoble brute.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • She may not indeed put on the insolence of pride, and the fool-hardiness of presumption.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • There was something like insolence in the way Pete Clancy returned his stare.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • As they approached the town, the demonstrations of insolence were redoubled.

Word Origin and History for insolence

late 14c., from Latin insolentia "unusualness, haughtiness, arrogance," from insolentem (see insolent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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