From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle French insolence, from Latin īnsolentia.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɪn.sə.ləns/
  • (file)


insolence (countable and uncountable, plural insolences)

  1. Contemptible, ill-mannered conduct; insulting: arrogant, bold behaviour or attitude.
    • 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter 14, in Emma: [], volume III, London: [] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, →OCLC:
      all the insolence of imaginary superiority
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Chapter XVIII. The Fête.”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 133:
      There she was, doing rude things, and saying ruder, which every body bore with the best grace in the world: then, as now, it was perfectly astonishing what people in general will submit to in the way of insolence, provided the said insolence be attended by rank and riches.
    • 1905, E. M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread , chapter 2:
      The coarseness and truth of her attack alike overwhelmed him. But her supreme insolence found him words, and he too burst forth. "Yes! and I forbid you to do it! You despise me, perhaps, and think I'm feeble. But you're mistaken. You are ungrateful, impertinent, and contemptible, but I will save you in order to save Irma and our name.
    • c. 1908–52, W.D. Ross, transl., The Works of Aristotle, Oxford: Clarendon Press, translation of Rhetoric, II.1389b11, by Aristotle, →OCLC, page 636:
      They are fond of fun and therefore witty, wit being well-bred insolence.
  2. Insolent conduct or treatment; insult.
    • 1652, Thomas Fuller, The Holy State, and the Profane State[1], page 442:
      Two heavy iron chains were put about his neck, (in metal and weight different from them he bore before!) and, loaded with fetters and insolences from the soldiers, (who in such ware seldom give scant measure,) he was brought into the presence of Isaacius.
  3. (obsolete) The quality of being unusual or novel.

Derived terms[edit]



insolence (third-person singular simple present insolences, present participle insolencing, simple past and past participle insolenced)

  1. (obsolete) To insult.




From Latin īnsolentia.



insolence f (plural insolences)

  1. insolence

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]