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  1. not solvent; unable to satisfy creditors or discharge liabilities, either because liabilities exceed assets or because of inability to pay debts as they mature.
  2. pertaining to bankrupt persons or bankruptcy.
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  1. a person who is insolvent.
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Origin of insolvent

First recorded in 1585–95; in-3 + solvent

Synonyms for insolvent

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for insolvent

indebted, bankrupt, broke, strapped, failed, lost, broken, unbalanced, undone, busted

Examples from the Web for insolvent

Contemporary Examples of insolvent

Historical Examples of insolvent

British Dictionary definitions for insolvent


  1. (of a person, company, etc) having insufficient assets to meet debts and liabilities; bankrupt
  2. of or relating to bankrupts or bankruptcy
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  1. a person who is insolvent; bankrupt
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Derived Formsinsolvency, 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

Word Origin and History for insolvent


1590s, "unable to pay one's debts," from in- (1) "not" + Latin solventem "paying" (see solvent). Originally of one who was not a trader; only traders could become bankrupt.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper