[ verb in-suhlt; noun in-suhlt ]
See synonyms for: insultinsultedinsultinginsults on

verb (used with object)
  1. to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront.

  2. to affect as an affront; offend or demean.

  1. Archaic. to attack; assault.

verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to behave with insolent triumph; exult contemptuously (usually followed by on, upon, or over).

  1. an insolent or contemptuously rude action or remark; affront.

  2. something having the effect of an affront: That book is an insult to one's intelligence.

  1. Medicine/Medical.

    • an injury or trauma.

    • an agent that inflicts this.

  2. Archaic. an attack or assault.

Origin of insult

First recorded in1560–70; from Latin insultāre “to jump on, insult,” equivalent to in- in-2 + -sultāre, combining form of saltāre “to jump”; see saltant

synonym study For insult

5. Insult, indignity, affront, slight imply an act that injures another's honor, self-respect, etc. Insult implies such insolence of speech or manner as deeply humiliates or wounds one's feelings and arouses to anger. Indignity is especially used of inconsiderate, contemptuous treatment toward one entitled to respect. Affront implies open disrespect or offense shown, as it were, to the face. Slight may imply inadvertent indifference or disregard, which may also indicate ill-concealed contempt.

Other words for insult

Opposites for insult

Other words from insult

  • in·sult·a·ble, adjective
  • in·sult·er, noun
  • pre·in·sult, verb (used with object)
  • qua·si-in·sult·ed, adjective
  • un·in·sult·a·ble, adjective
  • un·in·sult·ed, adjective

Words Nearby insult Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use insult in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for insult


verb(ɪnˈsʌlt) (tr)
  1. to treat, mention, or speak to rudely; offend; affront

  2. obsolete to assault; attack

  1. an offensive or contemptuous remark or action; affront; slight

  2. a person or thing producing the effect of an affront: some television is an insult to intelligence

  1. med an injury or trauma

  2. add insult to injury to make an unfair or unacceptable situation even worse

Origin of insult

C16: from Latin insultāre to jump upon, from in- ² + saltāre to jump

Derived forms of insult

  • insulter, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with insult


see add insult to injury.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.