Definition of insult in English:

insult

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.

    ‘you're insulting the woman I love’
    • ‘The players are insulting the hard work put in to keep the club alive.’
    • ‘They have insulted our war dead and probably do not even realise it.’
    • ‘Carl is insulted, humiliated and ignored on a regular basis and yet keeps coming back for more.’
    • ‘It insulted his intelligence and made him wonder why he went to college in the first place.’
    • ‘Not only are they taking money out of our pockets but they are insulting us.’
    • ‘Eileen Murphy, who has lived there nine years, said people were fuming and insulted by the slur.’
    • ‘Lists are just a cheap, uninspired and valueless way of filling column inches and insulting readers.’
    • ‘My problem is with stupid, ignorant and insulting queries like the one posed above.’
    • ‘Political violence is often a resentful backlash to a group's sense of being insulted or humiliated.’
    • ‘It was the cruel and insulting nature of that particular rant that so annoyed me.’
    • ‘Try having people insulting you every single day, and tell me how long you can last?’
    • ‘I wonder what sort of business he's involved with, if he doesn't need to worry about insulting women?’
    • ‘He said he became angry after his girlfriend was insulted by the two accused men.’
    • ‘So is there any hope that the broadcasters will stop insulting our intelligence?’
    • ‘When villagers tried to put the cones back, they were insulted by some motorists.’
    • ‘Howard has been not only honest but clever in not insulting voters with tricky talk.’
    • ‘It is the first time in years that someone has been taken to court and penalised for insulting the monarch.’
    • ‘I'm not big on censorship and I will only delete a posting if it contains insulting language.’
    • ‘He insulted me and repeatedly pushed my shoulder, hoping to goad me into hitting him.’
    • ‘Well the nation has had to put up with weeks of its intelligence being insulted by those who claimed we were wrong to act.’
    • ‘They were also said to be regularly insulted and physically abused by the owners.’
    • ‘As a statement of defiance, it was more effective than insulting a head of state.’
    offend, cause offence to, give offence to, affront, abuse, be rude to, call someone names, slight, disparage, discredit, libel, slander, malign, defame, denigrate, cast aspersions on, impugn, slur, revile, calumniate
    hurt, hurt someone's feelings, mortify, humiliate, wound
    snub, rebuff, spurn, shun, treat disrespectfully, ignore, cut dead, give someone the cold-shoulder, turn one's back on
    bad-mouth
    slag off
    trash-talk
    sledge
    asperse, derogate, miscall
    abusive, rude, vulgar, offensive, wounding, mortifying, humiliating, disparaging, belittling, derogatory, depreciating, deprecatory, disrespectful, denigratory, uncomplimentary, pejorative, vituperative
    disdainful, derisive, scornful, contemptuous
    defamatory, slanderous, libellous, scurrilous, blasphemous, discrediting
    bitchy, catty
    contumelious
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or action.

    ‘he hurled insults at us’
    ‘he saw the book as a deliberate insult to the Church’
    • ‘It's grossly invasive and humiliating, an insult to the dignity of any person.’
    • ‘With Australian spies among their number, they face a season-long barrage of insults and sly remarks if the world champions add the Captain Cook Cup to their trophy haul.’
    • ‘The conduct that has come to light is an insult to the people, and an affront to the most basic standards of morality and decency.’
    • ‘My remarks were not an insult to decent youths or their parents.’
    • ‘Problems included loud music, out-of-control dogs, residents being assaulted and abuse and insults hurled at people in the street.’
    • ‘As she said this, she glared at John-Paul, as if her remarks were an insult.’
    • ‘This was a blatant insult to Russia and an affront to the whole free world.’
    • ‘The man came around from his counter and began yelling insults at me.’
    • ‘A string of vitriolic insults were hurled at the referee who should have at least administered a yellow card for diving if he felt a penalty was the wrong decision.’
    • ‘It is tempting to refuse to answer those who have nothing to contribute but rude remarks, insults, and attempts to accuse others of things never said.’
    • ‘He's been a never-ending source of insults and putdowns, to keep the hecklers at bay and the fans in stitches.’
    • ‘I strongly feel that what has been written about him in your paper is a slur on his character and an insult to his profession, and that you should apologise to him in writing.’
    • ‘This is the crowning insult to a lifetime of perceived slights and insults, which exist nowhere but in his head.’
    • ‘With respect, this remark is an insult to the intelligence of your readers.’
    • ‘It is an insult to the primary producers of this region to be snubbed by any Minister, let alone one who supposedly represents their industry.’
    • ‘The implication that parenting under pressure is an invitation to abuse is an insult to the integrity of millions of hardworking mums and dads.’
    • ‘The Vietnamese perceived this disrespect as an insult to the entire village.’
    • ‘The arch tastemaker meant it as a compliment, but barbed remarks and outright insults have dogged her throughout her career.’
    • ‘Many took his remarks as a racial insult.’
    • ‘You know your comment about there being more jobs in America then ever is a real stupid remark and an insult to hourly workers of America.’
    abusive remark, jibe, affront, slight, snub, barb, slur, backhanded compliment, injury, libel, slander, defamation, abuse, disparagement, depreciation, impugnment, revilement, humiliation, indignity, insolence, rudeness
    aspersions
    dig, put-down, slap in the face, kick in the teeth
    sledge
    contumely
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A thing so worthless or contemptible as to be offensive.
      ‘the present offer is an absolute insult’
      • ‘This Minister has introduced a bill that is an absolute insult to the cause he should be serving.’
      • ‘As one steward said, ‘The offer is an insult.’’
      • ‘The policy was an affront to our values and a needless insult to our friends.’
      • ‘The latest insult to local councillors is the plan to deprive them of any say in the health of the nation.’
      • ‘He said the charity's grant was an insult to his mother, who had tirelessly raised funds for it before her death.’
      • ‘If you are going to have nurses on call, the pay is an insult.’
      • ‘That is, in my view, an absolute insult, given the importance of this legislation.’
      • ‘What an insult to every mother in the country that Budget was!’
      • ‘The distraught parents of Adele, who died last year, said the fine was an ‘absolute insult to us and to the memory of Adele’.’
      • ‘The present old age pension compared to today's average wage is an unforgivable insult and an absolute disgrace.’
      • ‘A teabag is an insult to tea connoisseurs.’
      • ‘But, of course, that is completely untrue, and, in the context of this bill, an absolute insult.’
      • ‘They have now been offered a 1 percent rise to pay for the additional costs, and that is a total and an absolute insult.’
  • 2Medicine
    An event or occurrence that causes damage to a tissue or organ.

    ‘the movement of the bone causes a severe tissue insult’
    • ‘As the physiologic insults to each organ system accumulated, the outcome for this patient became worrisome.’
    • ‘For this reason, various environmental insults that damage intestinal tissues also lower the levels of lactase.’
    • ‘Tissues exposed to one insult can develop tolerance to a subsequent injury.’
    • ‘Although a second traumatic event may serve as abreaction or a cure for some dissociative amnesic states, this seems unlikely in the event of two severe neurological insults.’
    • ‘Any insult to this tissue in the future will not be endured in the same manner as normal tissue, resulting in cancer.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a verb in the sense exult, act arrogantly): from Latin insultare jump or trample on from in- on + saltare, from salire to leap The noun (in the early 17th century denoting an attack) is from French insulte or ecclesiastical Latin insultus. The main current senses date from the 17th century, the medical use dating from the early 20th century.