- to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront.
- to affect as an affront; offend or demean.
- Archaic. to attack; assault.
- Archaic. to behave with insolent triumph; exult contemptuously (usually followed by on, upon, or over).
- an insolent or contemptuously rude action or remark; affront.
- something having the effect of an affront: That book is an insult to one's intelligence.
- an injury or trauma.
- an agent that inflicts this.
- Archaic. an attack or assault.
Origin of insult
SynonymsSee more synonyms for insult on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for insult
Insult to injury, its $43 million gross was less than one-fifth of what Ted took in.The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More
December 19, 2014
The cardinals had such a bad reputation that the very term “cardinal” became an insult in Renaissance Rome.Great Renaissance Art Thrived Amid Filth
December 3, 2014
At least part of the motivation for that change came from people coming out of the closet and putting a human face on the insult.Yes, ‘Aspergery’ Is a Slur and It's Time to Stop Using It
October 30, 2014
Donald Trump has gone all the way to Iowa to insult New York.Trump Travels to Iowa, Bashes New York
October 23, 2014
Why do you insult thousands of years of tradition in such an awful way?Putin’s Hockey Pal Tells All: Slava Fetisov on ‘Red Army,’ Soviet Nostalgia, and What Drives Putin
October 9, 2014
He would not have cared half so much for any insult to himself.
They shall find out that they cannot insult me with impunity.
It won't be any safer to insult me now than it was yesterday.
Patience will be the fittest return I can make to such an insult.
I met only with insult for this—Bella has not a feeling heart.
- to treat, mention, or speak to rudely; offend; affront
- obsolete to assault; attack
- an offensive or contemptuous remark or action; affront; slight
- a person or thing producing the effect of an affrontsome television is an insult to intelligence
- med an injury or trauma
- add insult to injury to make an unfair or unacceptable situation even worse
Word Origin and History for insult
1560s, "triumph over in an arrogant way," from Middle French insulter (14c.) and directly from Latin insultare "to assail, to leap upon" (already used by Cicero in sense of "insult, scoff at, revile"), frequentative of insilire "leap at or upon," from in- "on, at" (see in- (2)) + salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sense of "to verbally abuse, affront, assail with disrespect" is from 1610s. Related: Insulted; insulting.
c.1600 in the sense of "attack;" 1670s as "an act of insulting," from Middle French insult (14c.) or directly from Late Latin insultus, from insilire (see insult (v.)). To add insult to injury translates Latin injuriae contumeliam addere.
- A bodily injury, irritation, or trauma.
Idioms and Phrases with insult
see add insult to injury.