See more synonyms for impertinent on
  1. intrusive or presumptuous, as persons or their actions; insolently rude; uncivil: a brash, impertinent youth.
  2. not pertinent or relevant; irrelevant: an impertinent detail.
  3. Archaic. inappropriate, incongruous, or absurd.
  4. Obsolete. (of persons) trivial, silly, or absurd.

Origin of impertinent

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin impertinent- (stem of impertinēns) not belonging. See im-2, pertinent
Related formsim·per·ti·nent·ly, adverbim·per·ti·nent·ness, nounun·im·per·ti·nent, adjectiveun·im·per·ti·nent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for impertinent

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1. fresh, bold, insulting, officious, saucy, pert, brazen. Impertinent, impudent, insolent refer to bold, rude, and arrogant behavior. Impertinent, from its primary meaning of not pertinent and hence inappropriate or out of place, has come to imply often an unseemly intrusion into what does not concern one, or a presumptuous rudeness toward one entitled to deference or respect: an impertinent interruption, question, manner toward a teacher. Impudent suggests a bold and shameless impertinence: an impudent speech, young rascal. Insolent suggests insulting or arrogantly contemptuous behavior: unbearably insolent toward those in authority.

Antonyms for impertinent

1. polite. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for impertinently

Contemporary Examples of impertinently

  • I dig out strings of beads so impertinently large that they could never have been spat from the mere entrails of an oyster.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Politics of Michelle Obama's Hair

    Patricia J. Williams

    October 9, 2008

Historical Examples of impertinently

British Dictionary definitions for impertinently


  1. rude; insolent; impudent
  2. irrelevant or inappropriate
Derived Formsimpertinently, adverb

Word Origin for impertinent

C14: from Latin impertinēns not belonging, from Latin im- (not) + pertinēre to be relevant; see pertain
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 impertinently

mid-15c., from impertinent + -ly (2).



late 14c., "unconnected, unrelated, not to the point," from Old French impertinent (14c.) or directly from Late Latin impertinentem (nominative impertinens) "not belonging," literally "not to the point," from assimilated form of Latin in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + pertinens (see pertinent). Sense of "rudely bold" is 1680s, from earlier sense of "not appropriate to the situation," probably modeled on similar use in French, especially by Molière, from notion of meddling with what is beyond one's proper sphere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper