[ in-si-kyoor ]
/ ˌɪn sɪˈkyʊər /
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See synonyms for: insecure / insecureness on Thesaurus.com

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

From the Medieval Latin word insēcūrus, dating back to 1640–50. See in-3, secure

synonym study for insecure

3. See uncertain.


in·se·cure·ly, adverbin·se·cure·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does insecure mean?

Insecure means subject to fears and doubt, as in Sally was such an insecure person that she didn’t believe she did anything well, even when she got A’s on her tests.

Insecure can also mean anxious or uneasy, as in Tom was insecure about his chances for a promotion, worrying about it so much that he couldn’t sleep at night.

Insecure can mean not secure, that is, exposed to danger or risk. A safe with a broken lock would be an insecure safe. Anyone could open the safe and take what was inside.

Lastly, insecure can refer to something that is not firmly placed or fastened, as with a fire escape that is not completely fastened to a building.

Example: The bankrobbers easily broke into the insecure vault and escaped with all of the money.

Where does insecure come from?

The first records of the word insecure come from around 1640. It comes from the Medieval Latin word insēcūrus, which combines the negative prefix in- and the word secure, meaning “safe.”

When we’re talking about objects, we use insecure to mean the object lacks security (like your bank account) or is unstable (as in a ladder). Insecure, like the word uncertain, is used to describe something as risky or unpredictable. The word insecure often implies that the thing is likely to fail or come to harm.

When we use the word insecure to describe people, we often mean people who lack self-confidence or who need validation. Interestingly, some mental health experts argue that social media has made many more people feel insecure because of the amount of criticism they receive online or because they are constantly comparing themselves to others.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to insecure?

  • insecurely (adverb)
  • insecureness (noun)
  • insecurity (noun)

What are some synonyms for insecure?

What are some words that share a root or word element with insecure

What are some words that often get used in discussing insecure?

How is insecure used in real life?

Insecure is a common word. Social media often makes people feel extremely insecure.

Try using insecure!

Which of the following words would NOT be a synonym of insecure?

A. apprehensive
B. unsure
C. confident
D. anxious

How to use insecure in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for insecure

/ (ˌɪnsɪˈkjʊə) /

anxious or afraid; not confident or certain
not adequately protectedan insecure fortress
unstable or shaky

Derived forms of insecure

insecurely, 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

Medical definitions for insecure

[ ĭn′sĭ-kyur ]

Lacking emotional stability; not well-adjusted.
Lacking self-confidence; plagued by anxiety.

Other words from insecure

in′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.