[ im-pur-tn-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: impertinentimpertinently 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.

  1. Archaic. inappropriate, incongruous, or absurd.

  2. Obsolete. (of persons) trivial, silly, or absurd.

Origin of impertinent

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English from Late Latin impertinent- (stem of impertinēns ) “not belonging.” See im-2, pertinent

synonym study For impertinent

1. 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.

Other words for impertinent

Opposites for impertinent

Other words from impertinent

  • im·per·ti·nent·ly, adverb
  • im·per·ti·nent·ness, noun
  • un·im·per·ti·nent, adjective
  • un·im·per·ti·nent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use impertinent in a sentence

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

    The Politics of Michelle Obama's Hair | Patricia J. Williams | October 9, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Some one present had spoken very wrongly and impertinently of one of the curates, making suggestions of evil in his remarks.

    Edward Hoare, M.A. | Edward Hoare
  • Mr Arnold followed my example; but looked at me, I do not know how—impertinently—as if he thought I did not dislike him.

  • The question of money, nowadays impertinently thrust forth, was never hinted at in the olden time.

  • She just lay and stared at me and said, quite impertinently, that she didn't remember ever having met me.

    The Witness | Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

British Dictionary definitions for impertinent


/ (ɪmˈpɜːtɪnənt) /

  1. rude; insolent; impudent

  2. irrelevant or inappropriate

Origin of impertinent

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

Derived forms of impertinent

  • impertinently, adverb

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