[ in-sin-yoo-ey-shuh n ]
/ ɪnˌsɪn yuˈeɪ ʃən /


an indirect or covert suggestion or hint, especially of a derogatory nature: She made nasty insinuations about her rivals.
covert or artful suggestion or hinting, as of something implied: His methods of insinuation are most ingenious.
subtle or artful instillment into the mind.
the art or power of stealing into the affections and pleasing; ingratiation: He made his way by flattery and insinuation.
Archaic. a slow winding, worming, or stealing in.
Obsolete. an ingratiating act or speech.

Nearby words

  1. insignificant,
  2. insincere,
  3. insincerity,
  4. insinuate,
  5. insinuating,
  6. insipid,
  7. insipidity,
  8. insipience,
  9. insipient,
  10. insist

Origin of insinuation

First recorded in 1520–30, insinuation is from the Latin word insinuātion- (stem of insinuātiō). See insinuate, -ion

Related formspre·in·sin·u·a·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insinuation

British Dictionary definitions for insinuation


/ (ɪnˌsɪnjʊˈeɪʃən) /


an indirect or devious hint or suggestion
the act or practice of insinuating
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 insinuation



1520s, from Latin insinuationem (nominative insinuatio) "entrance through a narrow way; an ingratiating oneself," noun of action from past participle stem of insinuare (see insinuate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper