insult

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French insult (noun) and insulter (verb), from Latin insultāre (to jump at, insult), ultimately from salīre (to jump).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

insult (third-person singular simple present insults, present participle insulting, simple past and past participle insulted)

  1. (transitive) To be rude, insensitive or insolent to (somebody); to demean or affront (someone). [from 17th c.]
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To behave in an obnoxious and superior manner (over, against). [16th-19th c.]
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is. With All the Kindes, Cavses, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Seuerall Cvres of It. In Three Maine Partitions, with Their Seuerall Sections, Members, and Svbsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, by Democritvs Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , II.3.3:
      thou hast lost all, poor thou art, dejected, in pain of body, grief of mind, thine enemies insult over thee, thou art as bad as Job […].
  3. (obsolete) To leap or trample upon; to make a sudden onset upon.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (to offend): For semantic relationships of this sense, see offend in the Thesaurus.

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

insult (plural insults)

  1. An action or form of speech deliberately intended to be rude.
    • Savage
      the ruthless sneer that insult adds to grief
    • 1987, Jamie Lee Curtis, A Fish Called Wanda:
      To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!
  2. Anything that causes offence/offense, e.g. by being of an unacceptable quality.
    The way the orchestra performed tonight was an insult to my ears.
  3. (medicine) Something causing disease or injury to the body or bodily processes.
    • 2006, Stephen G. Lomber, Jos J. Eggermont, Reprogramming the Cerebral Cortex (page 415)
      [] most investigators agreed with the characterization of early brain plasticity as a transiently available, ancillary system that is triggered by neural insult []
    • 2011, Terence Allen and Graham Cowling, The Cell: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2011, p. 96:
      Within the complex genome of most organisms there are alternative multiple pathways of proteins which can help the individual cell survive a variety of insults, for example radiation, toxic chemicals, heat, excessive or reduced oxygen.
  4. (obsolete) The act of leaping on; onset; attack.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

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Related terms[edit]

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Catalan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

insult m (plural insults)

  1. insult

Related terms[edit]

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