Definition of insult in English:

insult

Line breaks: in¦sult

verb

Pronunciation: /ɪnˈsʌlt
 
/
[with object]

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈɪnsʌlt
 
/
Back to top  
  • 1A disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or act: he hurled insults at us he saw the book as a deliberate insult to the Church
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • My remarks were not an insult to decent youths or their parents.
    • With respect, this remark is an insult to the intelligence of your readers.
    Synonyms
    abusive remark, jibe, affront, slight, snub, barb, slur, backhanded compliment, injury, libel, slander, defamation, abuse, disparagement, depreciation, impugnment, revilement, humiliation, indignity, insolence, rudeness; aspersions
    informal dig, put-down, slap in the face, kick in the teeth
    archaic contumely
  • 1.1A thing so worthless or contemptible as to be offensive: the present offer is an absolute insult
    More example sentences
    • This Minister has introduced a bill that is an absolute insult to the cause he should be serving.
    • He said the charity's grant was an insult to his mother, who had tirelessly raised funds for it before her death.
    • The distraught parents of Adele, who died last year, said the fine was an ‘absolute insult to us and to the memory of Adele’.
  • 2 Medicine An event which causes damage to a tissue or organ: the movement of the bone causes a severe tissue insult
    More example sentences
    • For this reason, various environmental insults that damage intestinal tissues also lower the levels of lactase.
    • 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.
    • Tissues exposed to one insult can develop tolerance to a subsequent injury.

Phrases

add insult to injury

Act in a way that makes a bad situation worse: to ask our members to accept a pay cut adds insult to injury
More example sentences
  • And it's not just the money - bad pay just adds insult to injury.
  • Mixing your drinks adds insult to injury and increases the amount of toxins you have to cope with.
  • It is already hard enough to sit in a traffic jam without Begg wishing to add insult to injury by asking motorists to pay extra for the inconvenience.

Derivatives

insulter

noun
More example sentences
  • Agreed, and I must include myself in that category of petty insulters.
  • The experience has provided the company with a quick lesson in the tricky world of chasing online insulters.
  • If you deflect it with humor, you allow the insulter to see how juvenile such commentary can be.

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.

More definitions of insult

Definition of insult in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
noun
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively