Definition of insolent adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈɪnsələnt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnsələnt//
Describing unpleasant traits
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extremely rude and showing a lack of respect an insolent child/smile Her tone grew insolent. Synonymsrudecheeky insolent disrespectful impolite impertinent discourteousThese are all words for people showing a lack of respect for other people.rude having or showing a lack of respect for other people and their feelings:Why are you so rude to your mother? It’s rude to speak when you’re eating.cheeky (British English, informal) (especially of children) rude in an amusing or an annoying way:You cheeky monkey! a cheeky grininsolent (rather formal) very rude, especially to somebody who is older or more important Insolent is used especially to talk about the behaviour of children towards adults.disrespectful (rather formal) showing a lack of respect for somebody/​something:Some people said he had been disrespectful to the President in his last speech.impolite (rather formal) not behaving in a pleasant way that follows the rules of society:Some people think it is impolite to ask someone’s age. Impolite is often used in the phrases It seemed impolite and It would be impolite. impertinent (rather formal) not showing respect for somebody who is older or more important Impertinent is often used by people such as parents and teachers when they are telling children that they are angry with them for being rude:Don’t be impertinent! discourteous (formal) having bad manners and not showing respect:He didn’t wish to appear discourteous.Patterns rude/​cheeky/​disrespectful/​impolite/​discourteous to somebody rude/​impolite/​impertinent to do something See related entries: Describing unpleasant traits Word Originlate 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).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: insolent