From Middle French insolence, from Latin īnsolentia



insolence (countable and uncountable, plural insolences)

  1. Arrogant conduct; insulting, bold behaviour or attitude.
    • c. 1908–52, W.D. Ross, transl., The Works of Aristotle, Oxford: Clarendon Press, translation of Rhetoric, II.1389b11, by Aristotle, →OCLC, page 636:
      They are fond of fun and therefore witty, wit being well-bred insolence.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Volume III, Chapter 14:
      all the insolence of imaginary superiority
  2. Insolent conduct or treatment; insult.
    • 1652, Thomas Fuller, The Holy State, and the Profane State[1], page 442:
      Two heavy iron chains were put about his neck, (in metal and weight different from them he bore before!) and, loaded with fetters and insolences from the soldiers, (who in such ware seldom give scant measure,) he was brought into the presence of Isaacius.
  3. (obsolete) The quality of being unusual or novel.

Derived termsEdit



insolence (third-person singular simple present insolences, present participle insolencing, simple past and past participle insolenced)

  1. (obsolete) To insult.
    • 1851, Church Wardens of Burlington, “The Church Wardens &c. of Burlington to the Honourable Society. Burlington, 28th, 1715”, in Collections of the Protestant Episcopal Historical Society, volume 1, OCLC 7847099, page 76:
      ...we are bound to assert that we never heard either in his public discourses or private conversation, anything that might tend towards encouraging sedition, or anyways insolencing the government
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Eikon Basilike to this entry?)




From Latin īnsolentia.


  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃.sɔ.lɑ̃s/
  • (file)


insolence f (plural insolences)

  1. insolence

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit