[in-sip-ee-uh ns]

Origin of insipience

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin insipientia foolishness, equivalent to insipient- stem of insipiēns foolish (in- in-3 + -sipient-, combining form of sapient- sapient) + -ia; see -ence
Related formsin·sip·i·ent, adjectivein·sip·i·ent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedincipient insipid insipient Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insipient

Historical Examples of insipient

  • In other words it is the negative quality of passiveness either in recoverable latency or insipient latescence.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

British Dictionary definitions for insipient


  1. archaic lack of wisdom
Derived Formsinsipient, adjectiveinsipiently, adverb

Word Origin for insipience

C15: from Latin insipientia, from in- 1 + sapientia wisdom; see sapient
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 insipient

"foolish," mid-15c., from Latin insipientem (nominative insipiens) "unwise, foolish," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sapientem (see sapient). "Now mostly, or wholly, disused to avoid confusion with incipient" [OED].



early 15c., "lack of wisdom, foolishness," from Old French insipience, from Latin insipientia "folly," from insipientem (see insipient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper