Definition of insecure in US English:



  • 1Not firmly 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
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    1. 1.1 Able to be broken into or illicitly accessed.
      ‘an insecure computer system’
      • ‘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 insecure computers have been taken offline until the equipment is in place.’
      • ‘The front door remains insecure from the last time it was kicked in.’
      • ‘Many of these systems have insecure password management and are vulnerable to account spoofing and denial-of-service attacks.’
      • ‘Thieves entered through an insecure rear door and removed the brown Radley bag, worth £100, from the kitchen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Only weeks before she had written to the council because of concerns about the insecure front door.’
      • ‘Just look at Microsoft's buggy, insecure personal computer operating systems over the years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The door had been left insecure as she was expecting her home help to call.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Officers were visiting homes and where they find windows and doors insecure they will hand out crime prevention advice to residents.’
      • ‘It must be brought in before the Olympics to protect those in this insecure accommodation.’
      • ‘Each time the intruders have got in through insecure windows and doors.’
      • ‘Otherwise, you risk improper and insecure configuration of all system software, as well as noncertifiable network design.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the Furness area, which includes Barrow, there were 404 burglaries, of which 36 per cent were due to insecure doors and windows.’
      • ‘Without the ordinary user being able to make reasonable decisions about risk avoidance and risk acceptance, computers and networks are insecure.’
      unguarded, unprotected, ill-protected, vulnerable, defenceless, undefended, unshielded, exposed, assailable, open to attack, in danger
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    2. 1.2 (of a job or position) from which removal or expulsion is always possible.
      • ‘The remainder of the protection is dependent upon insecure conventions and understandings.’
      • ‘It is an intensely insecure profession, pursued under the glare of a relentless media.’
      • ‘Their tenure of office was uncertain and insecure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We wanted U.N. support, but it would not stay in an insecure situation.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But still this is a dangerous period and an insecure period for Najaf.’
      • ‘A lot of traditional male jobs have become more insecure and low paid.’
      • ‘In reality these are insecure, badly paid jobs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This meant there were fewer people doing more, and working longer hours, in intrinsically insecure jobs from top floor to the shop floor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But people are still being made to work harder, in worse conditions, with more managerial bullying and in more insecure temporary jobs.’
      • ‘It was, also, the lowest paid audit job, and insecure.’
      • ‘Compare that with, say, a large proportion of the population who don't have those choices and are stuck in low paid, insecure jobs.’
      • ‘I think the editorial went on to point out that, in addition to that, the political situation is very insecure.’
      • ‘The military takes care of all the tasks that it can take care of so long as the situation is insecure.’
      tense, awkward, strained, constrained, forced, fraught, precarious, unstable
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  • 2(of a person) not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious.

    ‘a rather gauche, insecure young man’
    ‘a top model who is notoriously insecure about her looks’
    • ‘Children who learn at a different pace or are anxious or insecure can also be targets for bullies.’
    • ‘They appear anxious, insecure, cautious, sensitive and quiet, and often react by crying and withdrawing.’
    • ‘It's normal to feel insecure, but don't cower and avoid uncertainty.’
    • ‘Everything that is happening out there says, people are insecure and uncertain about what's ahead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A neglectful, stressed or inconsistent parent gave the kind of care which tended to lead to anxious, insecure or avoidant children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘High turnover makes remaining employees feel uncertain and insecure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The obsession with the far right tells us far more about insecure and uncertain elites than it does about political reality on the ground.’
    • ‘Thus, the confident, happy associate or secretary may be more likely to complain than her insecure, anxious counterpart.’
    • ‘I feel: insecure, confused, uncertain, jealous, stupid, useless, used, saddened, frustrated, and so on.’
    • ‘I am also feeling anxious and insecure and I'm not really sure why.’
    • ‘Many of these children become aligned with only one parent so they become less anxious and insecure.’
    • ‘And they are not insecure, fearful, anxious as so many of their peers are.’
    • ‘A fanatical believer is a very insecure and fearful person.’
    • ‘Let's face it: You may be insecure, lonely, stressed or anxious.’
    • ‘None of us wanted to ‘need’ cigarettes almost desperately and to feel insecure and anxious without them.’
    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
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Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin insecurus ‘unsafe’, from in- ‘not’ + Latin securus ‘free from care’, or from in- ‘not’ + secure.