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[in-suh-luh ns]
See more synonyms for insolence on Thesaurus.com
  1. contemptuously rude or impertinent behavior or speech.
  2. the quality or condition of being insolent.
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Origin of insolence

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word insolentia. See insolent, -ence
Related formso·ver·in·so·lence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for insolence

gall, contumely, contempt, presumption, insubordination, arrogance, lip, sauce, impudence, impertinence, incivility, brazenness, guff, abuse, rudeness, brass, chutzpah, effrontery, hardihood, sass

Examples from the Web for insolence

Historical Examples of insolence

  • And then her insolence reached its culmination in a query of her own: "Was his name Griggs?"

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He excludes "the insolence of office," and "the cutpurse of the empire and the rule."

  • I asked if this was her own insolence, or her young mistress's observation?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • And Mr. Lovelace's insolence will make me go very home with myself.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Not even her wrath at the girl's insolence could wholly overcome her wonder.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody

Word Origin and History for insolence


late 14c., from Latin insolentia "unusualness, haughtiness, arrogance," from insolentem (see insolent).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper