Definition of insolent in English:



  • Showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect:

    ‘she hated the insolent tone of his voice’
    • ‘He went out of his way to be just as impolite and insolent as he could be.’
    • ‘This shows how Kate has a mistaken identity because she appears rude and insolent.’
    • ‘Ours must be that first painful step of open and courageous defiance against an arrogant and insolent tyranny.’
    • ‘One should not be arrogant or insolent but rather be kind, considerate and courteous towards them.’
    • ‘I keep this in mind when I tell the hotel people how insolent and useless and above all stupid they are for giving me such a stupid and smelly room.’
    • ‘The most careless and trivial movements were capable of transmitting the rudest and most insolent messages.’
    • ‘It can only suffer economic loss which cannot be aggravated by the insulting or insolent behaviour of the defendant.’
    • ‘Gossips themselves are classified with people who are slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful.’
    • ‘Indifferent, insolent, squally weather put a bit of a damper on the festive and cultural activities over the bank holiday weekend.’
    • ‘I did this deliberately because I have two stepdaughters who treat me in a very insolent manner and will inherit from their mother.’
    • ‘Why does she treat me like I am a spoilt child who is rude and insolent even when I am quite clearly not?’
    • ‘There is no privilege here, no escape from the insolent booth attendants, the ceaseless demands of the homeless, and the pungent overcrowding.’
    • ‘But in the Sixties, as some of us know, wearing modish flat shoes could be as much an act of insolent opposition as a fashion statement.’
    • ‘Only very insolent children can breach such a contract.’
    • ‘A few dozen insolent soldiers were watching every move he made today and he had gotten painful lessons earlier that morning.’
    • ‘Beware of an insolent person who is destructive and selfish.’
    • ‘The very stylish decor and layout could unfortunately not make up for the very expensive bar prices and the rude and insolent staff.’
    • ‘Has any country ever had a more arrogant, insolent, contemptuous leader than we have?’
    • ‘Rampant fanaticism and tawdry, insolent antics only hurt the feminist cause.’
    • ‘There was a slightly insolent tone to his voice, as if he wasn't used to actually being ordered around.’
    impertinent, impudent, cheeky, ill-mannered, bad mannered, unmannerly, rude, impolite, uncivil, lacking civility, discourteous, disrespectful, insubordinate, contemptuous, presumptuous
    audacious, bold, brazen, brash, pert, forward
    insulting, abusive, offensive
    fresh, flip, cocky, lippy
    sassy, nervy
    contumelious, malapert
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘extravagant, going beyond acceptable limits’): from Latin insolent- immoderate, unaccustomed, arrogant, from in- not + solent- being accustomed (from the verb solere).