not submitting to authority; disobedient: an insubordinate soldier.
not lower.


a person who is insubordinate.

Origin of insubordinate

First recorded in 1840–50; in-3 + subordinate
Related formsin·sub·or·di·nate·ly, adverbin·sub·or·di·na·tion, noun

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

Examples from the Web for insubordinate

Contemporary Examples of insubordinate

Historical Examples of insubordinate

  • A mistake; they lack only the right of arbitrarily dismissing the insubordinate.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • In the meantime, the men grew more and more intractable and insubordinate.

  • "You are insubordinate," said the Legate, of a sudden very cold.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • You have been insubordinate when you should not only have been orderly, but have enforced orderliness in others.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Nothing rude, boisterous, insubordinate, or unkind appeared from any.

British Dictionary definitions for insubordinate



not submissive to authority; disobedient or rebellious
not in a subordinate position or rank


an insubordinate person
Derived Formsinsubordinately, adverbinsubordination, 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 insubordinate

1849, on model of French insubordonné (1789); from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + subordinate. Related: Insubordinately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper