[im-pur-tn-uh ns]


unmannerly intrusion or presumption; insolence.
impertinent quality or action.
something impertinent, as an act or statement.
an impertinent person.
irrelevance, inappropriateness, or absurdity.

Origin of impertinence

First recorded in 1595–1605; impertin(ency) + -ence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impertinence

Historical Examples of impertinence

  • I have already given you specimens of Mrs. Betty's impertinence.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Only the emergency could have spurred him to the point of so outrageous an impertinence.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Your coming here is an affront, an impertinence, an audacity.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • This was a little nearer to impertinence than anything she had before encountered.

  • I am glad that Princess Mary is ill; they might be guilty of some impertinence towards her.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

British Dictionary definitions for impertinence




disrespectful behaviour or language; rudeness; insolence
an impertinent act, gesture, etc
rare lack of pertinence; irrelevance; inappropriateness
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

Word Origin and History for impertinence

c.1600, from French impertinence, from Medieval Latin impertinentia, from Late Latin impertinentem "not belonging" (see impertinent). Impertinency is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper