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[in-suh-luh nt] /ˈɪn sə lənt/
boldly rude or disrespectful; contemptuously impertinent; insulting:
an insolent reply.
an insolent person.
Origin of insolent
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin insolent- (stem of insolēns) departing from custom, equivalent to in- in-3 + sol- (stem of solēre to be accustomed) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
insolently, adverb
overinsolent, adjective
overinsolently, adverb
1. brazen; contemptuous. See impertinent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insolently
Historical Examples
  • "Because you'd probably have to go to the poorhouse," said Halbert, insolently.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Aggie exclaimed, insolently, and made a face at the officer.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The contrivance, if a contrivance, to get me away, so insolently mean!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • "No more than you are, my pippin," answered the traveller, insolently.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • "Men do not whistle even for a dog, when he 's at his meals," said the old man, insolently.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • "He would n't take any airs with me," said Grog, insolently.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • How insolently did they behave to O'Connell in the House till he put his heel on them?

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • "That much you may leave to themselves," said the boy, insolently.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • "No—you mean where it will lead us," said the fellow, insolently.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • “That is none of your business, Mrs. Mallaby,” he said insolently.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
British Dictionary definitions for insolently


offensive, impudent, or disrespectful
Derived Forms
insolence, noun
insolently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin insolens, from in-1 + solēre to be accustomed
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 insolently



late 14c., "contemptuous, arrogant, haughty," from Latin insolentem (nominative insolens) "arrogant, immoderate," literally "unusual," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + solentem, present participle of solere "be accustomed," which possibly is related to sodalis "close companion," and to suescere "become used to." Meaning "contemptuous of rightful authority" is from 1670s. Related: Insolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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