Definition of insecure in English:



  • 1Uncertain or anxious about oneself; not confident:

    ‘a rather gauche, insecure young man’
    ‘a top model who is notoriously insecure about her looks’
    • ‘It is no surprise, in these circumstances, that survey after survey shows that workers feel more insecure and anxious than at any time in our peacetime history.’
    • ‘A fanatical believer is a very insecure and fearful person.’
    • ‘Perhaps I am feeling anxious and insecure, unappreciated, frustrated, and unable to take care of things and people that matter to me.’
    • ‘During the last two years my parents' insistence on an arranged marriage, to a Pakistani Muslim girl, has made me feel increasingly insecure and anxious.’
    • ‘It has a particular resonance among the disaffected middle classes, who have become increasingly anxious and insecure as a result of wider social and political shifts over the past decade.’
    • ‘It's normal to feel insecure, but don't cower and avoid uncertainty.’
    • ‘They appear anxious, insecure, cautious, sensitive and quiet, and often react by crying and withdrawing.’
    • ‘Children who learn at a different pace or are anxious or insecure can also be targets for bullies.’
    • ‘Everything that is happening out there says, people are insecure and uncertain about what's ahead.’
    • ‘Let's face it: You may be insecure, lonely, stressed or anxious.’
    • ‘High turnover makes remaining employees feel uncertain and insecure.’
    • ‘I feel: insecure, confused, uncertain, jealous, stupid, useless, used, saddened, frustrated, and so on.’
    • ‘The obsession with the far right tells us far more about insecure and uncertain elites than it does about political reality on the ground.’
    • ‘None of us wanted to ‘need’ cigarettes almost desperately and to feel insecure and anxious without them.’
    • ‘And they are not insecure, fearful, anxious as so many of their peers are.’
    • ‘Yet the attack has made such an impact on the anxious and insecure Western elites that there is serious talk of it causing an economic recession.’
    • ‘Thus, the confident, happy associate or secretary may be more likely to complain than her insecure, anxious counterpart.’
    • ‘Many of these children become aligned with only one parent so they become less anxious and insecure.’
    • ‘I am also feeling anxious and insecure and I'm not really sure why.’
    • ‘A neglectful, stressed or inconsistent parent gave the kind of care which tended to lead to anxious, insecure or avoidant children.’
    unconfident, lacking confidence, lacking self-confidence, not self-assured, diffident, self-effacing, self-conscious, unforthcoming, uncertain, unsure, doubtful, self-doubting, hesitant, unassertive, retiring, shrinking, shy, timid, timorous, meek, passive, inhibited, introverted
    View synonyms
  • 2(of a thing) not firm or fixed; liable to give way or break:

    ‘an insecure footbridge’
    • ‘The buses banned immediately were found to have defective brakes, tyres, air leaks, insecure doors and seats.’
    • ‘By a cruel twist the town's All Saints' Church was locked for much of last week because one of its inner doors was insecure.’
    unstable, unsecured, loose, rickety, rocky, wobbly, shaky, unsteady, precarious
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Not sufficiently protected; easily broken into:
      ‘an insecure computer system’
      • ‘Without the ordinary user being able to make reasonable decisions about risk avoidance and risk acceptance, computers and networks are insecure.’
      • ‘Although the advice is general it has arisen in respect of thefts and burglaries where thieves have simply walked into premises through insecure doors and stolen property left on show whilst people are at home.’
      • ‘It must be brought in before the Olympics to protect those in this insecure accommodation.’
      • ‘Only weeks before she had written to the council because of concerns about the insecure front door.’
      • ‘The gang of three or four raiders got into the house through an insecure back door between 8pm and 8.20 pm on Saturday night.’
      • ‘Many of these systems have insecure password management and are vulnerable to account spoofing and denial-of-service attacks.’
      • ‘His answers were not satisfactory, and it appeared that he may well have been referring, not to the hazard lights, but to an internal warning light telling him that there was an open or insecure door.’
      • ‘Otherwise, you risk improper and insecure configuration of all system software, as well as noncertifiable network design.’
      • ‘Just look at Microsoft's buggy, insecure personal computer operating systems over the years.’
      • ‘Unfortunately due to an insecure external door he was able to slip out of a communal area within the custody unit into the rear enclosed car park of the police station.’
      • ‘The insecure computers have been taken offline until the equipment is in place.’
      • ‘A spokesman for West Yorrkshire police said an insecure back door of the the semi-derelict house had been forced and they were treating the attack as a burglary with racial overtones.’
      • ‘The door had been left insecure as she was expecting her home help to call.’
      • ‘Computers and storage systems that are physically insecure pose a difficult challenge to enterprises as well.’
      • ‘Acting Sergeant Paul Evans from Skipton Police said that residents needed to be mindful about leaving their doors and windows open or insecure in the warm weather.’
      • ‘Thieves entered through an insecure rear door and removed the brown Radley bag, worth £100, from the kitchen.’
      • ‘The front door remains insecure from the last time it was kicked in.’
      • ‘Each time the intruders have got in through insecure windows and doors.’
      • ‘Officers were visiting homes and where they find windows and doors insecure they will hand out crime prevention advice to residents.’
      • ‘In the Furness area, which includes Barrow, there were 404 burglaries, of which 36 per cent were due to insecure doors and windows.’
      unguarded, unprotected, ill-protected, vulnerable, defenceless, undefended, unshielded, exposed, assailable, open to attack, in danger
      View synonyms
  • 3(of a job or situation) liable to change for the worse; not permanent or settled:

    ‘badly paid and insecure jobs’
    ‘a financially insecure period’
    • ‘The remainder of the protection is dependent upon insecure conventions and understandings.’
    • ‘The military takes care of all the tasks that it can take care of so long as the situation is insecure.’
    • ‘The price of this shift was the replacement of secure well-paid jobs in traditional industries with often insecure and relatively low-paid jobs in services.’
    • ‘He was probably the only director of genius to emerge from the Hollywood system during the '60s, the most insecure period of its history since the coming of sound.’
    • ‘One myth is that it makes jobs insecure in developed countries, or that insecurity is a price that must be paid for economic growth.’
    • ‘The majority of the Irish who made their way to London were extremely poor and were therefore again restricted to the most insecure or poorly paid jobs.’
    • ‘Agriculture relies heavily on migrants to fill its low paid and insecure jobs.’
    • ‘Or was the situation so insecure that relief never reached the population who needed it?’
    • ‘But people are still being made to work harder, in worse conditions, with more managerial bullying and in more insecure temporary jobs.’
    • ‘It is an intensely insecure profession, pursued under the glare of a relentless media.’
    • ‘Compare that with, say, a large proportion of the population who don't have those choices and are stuck in low paid, insecure jobs.’
    • ‘A lot of traditional male jobs have become more insecure and low paid.’
    • ‘We wanted U.N. support, but it would not stay in an insecure situation.’
    • ‘I think the editorial went on to point out that, in addition to that, the political situation is very insecure.’
    • ‘It was, also, the lowest paid audit job, and insecure.’
    • ‘But still this is a dangerous period and an insecure period for Najaf.’
    • ‘This relative increase is commensurate with Burchell's finding that increased depression scores in unemployed men are not reduced by re-employment in an insecure job.’
    • ‘In reality these are insecure, badly paid jobs.’
    • ‘She didn't mean religious beliefs, only faith in some higher values, in some higher reality that made them feel secure in a very insecure situation.’
    • ‘This meant there were fewer people doing more, and working longer hours, in intrinsically insecure jobs from top floor to the shop floor.’
    tense, awkward, strained, constrained, forced, fraught, precarious, unstable
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin insecurus unsafe, from in- not + Latin securus free from care, or from in- ‘not’+ secure.