boldly rude or disrespectful; contemptuously impertinent; insulting: an insolent reply.


an insolent person.

Origin of insolent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin insolent- (stem of insolēns) departing from custom, equivalent to in- in-3 + sol- (stem of solēre to be accustomed) + -ent- -ent
Related formsin·so·lent·ly, adverbo·ver·in·so·lent, adjectiveo·ver·in·so·lent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for insolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insolently

Historical Examples of insolently

  • "Because you'd probably have to go to the poorhouse," said Halbert, insolently.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Aggie exclaimed, insolently, and made a face at the officer.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The contrivance, if a contrivance, to get me away, so insolently mean!

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • "No more than you are, my pippin," answered the traveller, insolently.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • "Men do not whistle even for a dog, when he 's at his meals," said the old man, insolently.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for insolently



offensive, impudent, or disrespectful
Derived Formsinsolence, nouninsolently, adverb

Word Origin for insolent

C14: from Latin insolens, from in- 1 + solēre to be accustomed
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 insolently



late 14c., "contemptuous, arrogant, haughty," from Latin insolentem (nominative insolens) "arrogant, immoderate," literally "unusual," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + solentem, present participle of solere "be accustomed," which possibly is related to sodalis "close companion," and to suescere "become used to." Meaning "contemptuous of rightful authority" is from 1670s. Related: Insolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper