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  1. subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured: an insecure person.
  2. not confident or certain; uneasy; anxious: He was insecure about the examination.
  3. not secure; exposed or liable to risk, loss, or danger: an insecure stock portfolio.
  4. not firmly or reliably placed or fastened: an insecure ladder.

Origin of insecure

From the Medieval Latin word insēcūrus, dating back to 1640–50. See in-3, secure
Related formsin·se·cure·ly, adverbin·se·cure·ness, noun

Synonyms for insecure

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3. risky.

Synonym study

3. See uncertain. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for insecure


  1. anxious or afraid; not confident or certain
  2. not adequately protectedan insecure fortress
  3. unstable or shaky
Derived Formsinsecurely, adverbinsecureness, nouninsecurity, noun
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 insecure

1640s, "unsafe," from Medieval Latin insecurus, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin securus (see secure). Psychological sense dates from 1935; insecurity in this sense dates from 1917. Related: Insecurely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

insecure in Medicine


  1. Lacking emotional stability; not well-adjusted.
  2. Lacking self-confidence; plagued by anxiety.
Related formsin′se•curi•ty (-kyurĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.