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v. in·sult·ed, in·sult·ing, in·sults
a. To treat with gross insensitivity, insolence, or contemptuous rudeness. See Synonyms at offend.
b. To affront or demean: an absurd speech that insulted the intelligence of the audience.
2. Obsolete To make an attack on.
v.intr. Archaic
To behave arrogantly.
n. (ĭn′sŭlt′)
1. An insulting remark or act.
a. Medicine A bodily injury, irritation, or trauma.
b. Something that causes injury, irritation, or trauma: "the middle of the Bronx, buffeted and poisoned by the worst environmental insults that urban America can dish out" (William K. Stevens).

[French insulter, from Old French, to assault, from Latin īnsultāre, to leap at, insult, frequentative of īnsilīre, to leap upon : in-, on; see in-2 + salīre, to leap; see sel- in Indo-European roots.]

in·sult′er n.
in·sult′ing·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr)
1. to treat, mention, or speak to rudely; offend; affront
2. obsolete to assault; attack
3. an offensive or contemptuous remark or action; affront; slight
4. a person or thing producing the effect of an affront: some television is an insult to intelligence.
5. (Medicine) med an injury or trauma
6. add insult to injury to make an unfair or unacceptable situation even worse
[C16: from Latin insultāre to jump upon, from in-2 + saltāre to jump]
inˈsulter n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(v. ɪnˈsʌlt; n. ˈɪn sʌlt)
1. to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront.
2. to affect as an affront; offend or demean.
3. Archaic. to attack; assault.
4. Archaic. to behave with insolent triumph; exult contemptuously.
5. an insolent or contemptuously rude action or remark; affront.
6. something having the effect of an affront: That book is an insult to one's intelligence.
7. Med.
a. an injury or trauma.
b. an agent that inflicts this.
8. Archaic. an attack or assault.
[1560–70; < Latin insultāre to jump on, mock =in- in-2 + -sultāre, comb. form of saltāre to jump; see saltant]
in•sult′a•ble, adj.
in•sult′er, n.
in•sult′ing•ly, adv.
syn: insult, indignity, affront, slight refer to acts or words that offend or demean. insult refers to a deliberately discourteous or rude remark or act that humiliates, wounds the feelings, and arouses anger: an insult about her foreign accent. indignity refers to an injury to one's dignity or self-respect: The prisoners suffered many indignities. affront implies open offense or disrespect: Criticism of my book was a personal affront. slight implies inadvertent indifference or disregard, but may also indicate ill-concealed contempt: Not inviting me was an unforgivable slight.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • insult - In medicine and science, it can mean "trauma, something that disturbs normal functions."
  • political correctness - Can be an insult, accusation, joke, or the name of an effort to change a society by means of wide-ranging but often small-scale cultural reform.
  • outrage - The true etymology of outrage has nothing to do with out or rage—rather, it is a borrowing from French outrage, "insult, outrage," based on Latin ultra, "beyond," and -agium, a noun suffix; outrage first meant "lack of moderation."
  • umbrage - From Latin umbra, "shadow," in English it originally meant "shade, shadow," then shadowy suspicion, and then displeasure or resentment at a slight or insult.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also RIDICULE.)

barrack To boo or hiss; to voice loudly one’s disapproval of a player, performer, or team at a public event. This British term is thought by some to be a back formation of the cockney word barrakin ‘senseless talk,’ although the OED claims an Australian origin. The word appeared in use in the late 19th century. The term to barrack for has the opposite meaning: ‘to cheer for, or support vocally.’

bite one’s thumb at To insult or show contempt for someone. The gesture, as defined by the 17th-century English lexicographer Randle Cotgrave, meant “to threaten or defy by putting the thumb nail into the mouth, and with a jerk [from the upper teeth] make it to knack [click or snap].” A famous use of the phrase is from Shakespeare:

I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. (Romeo and Juliet, I, i)

catcall A harsh, whistling sound, something like the cry of a cat, used by theater and other audiences to express their disapproval, displeasure, or impatience; the whistlelike instrument used to make this sound. This term dates from the mid-1600s.

cock a snook A British slang expression for the gesture of putting one’s thumb on one’s nose and extending the fingers, equivalent to thumb one’s nose. The origin of snook is obscure, and based on citations from as early as 1879, it can refer to other derisive gestures as well. An earlier form of this phrase is to take a sight.

“To take a sight at a person” a vulgar action employed by street boys to denote incredulity, or contempt for authority, by placing the thumb against the nose and closing all the fingers except the little one, which is agitated in token of derision. (John C. Hotten, A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words, 1860)

A current variant of snook is snoot, a slang term for the nose.

fork the fingers To use one’s digits in a disdainful motion toward another person. This self-explanatory expression is heard less often now than in past centuries.

His wife … Behind him forks her fingers. (Sir John Mennes and J. Smith, Witts Recreations, 1640)

give the bird To hiss or boo; to dismiss or fire; to receive unsupportive, hostile feedback. The original phrase was give the goose, a theater slang expression dating from the beginning of the 19th century. Goose or bird, and currently raspberry or Bronx cheer, refer to the hissing sound made by an audience mimicking the similar sound made by a goose. It expresses disapproval, hostility, or rejection, and was directed at a performer or the play. Today it is a popular sound effect used by crowds at sporting events, although give the bird is also heard in other unrelated contexts. For example, an employer who dismisses an employee is said to give the bird, akin to give the sack. And in interpersonal relationships, the bird is analogous to the brush-off or the gate.

She gave him the bird—finally and for good. So he came to Spain to forget his broken heart. (P. Kemp, Mine Were of Trouble, 1957)

A familiar vulgar meaning of give the bird is to make the obscene and offensive gesture of extending the middle finger.

give the fig To insult; also the fig of Spain and the now obsolete to give the fico. The fig or Italian fico is a contemptuous gesture which involves putting the thumb between the first two fingers or in the mouth. English versions of both expressions date from the late 16th century. The equivalent French and Spanish phrases are faire la figue and dar la higa respectively.

give the raspberry To show ridicule or disapproval by making a vulgar noise; to respond in a scornful, acrimonious manner. Raspberry, a slang term dating from the turn of the century, refers to any expression of disapproval or scorn.

The humorist answered them by a gesture known in polite circles as a “raspberry.” (T. Burke, Nights in Town, 1915)

Convict son totters up the steps of the old home and punches the bell. What awaits him beyond? Forgiveness? Or the raspberry? (P. G. Wodehouse, Damsel in Distress, 1920)

However, the most common raspberry is the sound effect known also as the bird, goose, or Bronx cheer. Razz, short for raspberry, is a slang verb meaning ‘to ridicule or deride,’ akin in use to the verb tease.

make horns at To insult by making the offensive gesture of extending the fist with the forefinger and pinkie extended and the middle fingers doubled in. This now obsolete derisive expression implies that the person being insulted is a cuckold.

He would have laine withe the Countess of Nottinghame, making horns in derision at her husband the Lord High Admiral. (Sir E. Peyton, The Divine Catastrophe of the … House of Stuarts, 1652)

See wear the horns, INFIDELITY.

a plague on both your houses An imprecation invoked upon two parties, each at odds with the other; often a denunciation of both of America’s two leading political parties. Shakespeare coined this expression in Romeo and Juliet (III, i):

I am hurt.
A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?

a slap in the face A stinging insult; a harsh or sarcastic rejection, rebuke, or censure. This expression alludes to a literal blow to the face, a universal sign of rejection or disapproval. The implication is that a verbal blow, particularly an unexpected one, can be just as painful and devastating as a physical one.

[He] could not help feeling severely the very vigorous slap on the face which had been administered to him. (Thomas Trollope, La Beata, 1861)

thumb one’s nose Literally, to put one’s thumb to one’s nose and extend the fingers, a gesture expressive of scorn, derision or contempt. This U.S. phrase came into use concurrently with give the raspberry in the early 1900s and is popular today. The gesture is considered offensive, but not as vulgar as the gesture known as the bird.

He thumbed his nose with both thumbs at once and told me to climb the Tour d’Eiffel and stay there. (B. Hall, One Man’s War, 1916)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: insulted
Gerund: insulting

I insult
you insult
he/she/it insults
we insult
you insult
they insult
I insulted
you insulted
he/she/it insulted
we insulted
you insulted
they insulted
Present Continuous
I am insulting
you are insulting
he/she/it is insulting
we are insulting
you are insulting
they are insulting
Present Perfect
I have insulted
you have insulted
he/she/it has insulted
we have insulted
you have insulted
they have insulted
Past Continuous
I was insulting
you were insulting
he/she/it was insulting
we were insulting
you were insulting
they were insulting
Past Perfect
I had insulted
you had insulted
he/she/it had insulted
we had insulted
you had insulted
they had insulted
I will insult
you will insult
he/she/it will insult
we will insult
you will insult
they will insult
Future Perfect
I will have insulted
you will have insulted
he/she/it will have insulted
we will have insulted
you will have insulted
they will have insulted
Future Continuous
I will be insulting
you will be insulting
he/she/it will be insulting
we will be insulting
you will be insulting
they will be insulting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been insulting
you have been insulting
he/she/it has been insulting
we have been insulting
you have been insulting
they have been insulting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been insulting
you will have been insulting
he/she/it will have been insulting
we will have been insulting
you will have been insulting
they will have been insulting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been insulting
you had been insulting
he/she/it had been insulting
we had been insulting
you had been insulting
they had been insulting
I would insult
you would insult
he/she/it would insult
we would insult
you would insult
they would insult
Past Conditional
I would have insulted
you would have insulted
he/she/it would have insulted
we would have insulted
you would have insulted
they would have insulted
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.insult - a rude expression intended to offend or hurtinsult - a rude expression intended to offend or hurt; "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"
discourtesy, disrespect - an expression of lack of respect
low blow - unscrupulous abuse
billingsgate, scurrility - foul-mouthed or obscene abuse
stinger, cut - a remark capable of wounding mentally; "the unkindest cut of all"
invective, vituperation, vitriol - abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will
2.insult - a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespectinsult - a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect; "turning his back on me was a deliberate insult"
offense, offensive activity, discourtesy, offence - a lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings or others
indignity - an affront to one's dignity or self-esteem
scandalisation, scandalization, outrage - the act of scandalizing
Verb1.insult - treat, mention, or speak to rudelyinsult - treat, mention, or speak to rudely; "He insulted her with his rude remarks"; "the student who had betrayed his classmate was dissed by everyone"
spite, bruise, injure, offend, hurt - hurt the feelings of; "She hurt me when she did not include me among her guests"; "This remark really bruised my ego"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. offend, abuse, injure, wound, slight, outrage, put down, humiliate, libel, snub, slag (off) (slang), malign, affront, denigrate, disparage, revile, slander, displease, defame, hurt (someone's) feelings, call names, give offence to I didn't mean to insult you.
offend praise, flatter, big up (slang, chiefly Caribbean)
1. jibe, slight, put-down, abuse, snub, barb, affront, indignity, contumely, abusive remark, aspersion Some of the officers shouted insults at prisoners on the roof.
2. offence, slight, outrage, snub, slur, affront, rudeness, slap in the face (informal), kick in the teeth (informal), insolence, aspersion Their behaviour was an insult to the people they represented. abuse compliment, flattery, honour
"This is adding insult to injuries" [Edward Moore The Foundling]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To cause resentment or hurt by callous, rude behavior:
Idioms: add insult to injury, give offense to.
1. An act that offends a person's sense of pride or dignity:
2. An instance of mockery or derision:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
إِهَانَةٌإهانَه، شَتيمَه، مَسَبَّهيَهِيـنُيُهين، يَشْتُم
lăng mạsự lăng mạ


A. Ninsulto m, injuria f (frm)
they are an insult to the professionson un insulto para la profesión
and to add insult to injuryy para colmo de males, y por si esto fuera poco
B. [ɪnˈsʌlt] VT [+ person] → insultar, ofender
he felt insulted by this offertomó esta oferta como un insulto or una ofensa
now don't feel insultedno te ofendas
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= remark) → insulte f
to shout insults at sb → crier des insultes à qn
(= affront) → insulte f
an insult to sth → une insulte à qch
an insult to sb's intelligence → une insulte à l'intelligence de qn
It was an insult to my intelligence → C'était une insulte à mon intelligence.
to add insult to injury → pour ajouter l'insulte à l'injustice
[ɪnˈsʌlt] vt [+ person] → insulter
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


vtbeleidigen; (by words also) → beschimpfen
nBeleidigung f; (with words also) → Beschimpfung f; an insult to the professioneine Beleidigung für den ganzen Berufsstand; an insult to my intelligenceeine Beleidigung meiner Intelligenz; that’s not a salary, it’s an insult!das ist doch kein Gehalt, das ist blanker Hohn or das ist eine Beleidigung!; to add insult to injurydas Ganze noch schlimmer machen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[n ˈɪnsʌlt; vb ɪnˈsʌlt]
1. ninsulto
2. vtinsultare, offendere
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(inˈsalt) verb
to treat (a person) rudely or contemptuously. He insulted her by telling her she was not only ugly but stupid too.
(ˈinsalt) noun
(a) comment or action that insults. She took it as an insult that he did not shake hands with her.
inˈsulting adjective
contemptuous or offensive. insulting words.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


إِهَانَةٌ, يَهِيـنُ urazit, urážka fornærme, fornærmelse beleidigen, Beleidigung προσβάλλω, προσβολή insultar, insulto loukata, loukkaus insulte, insulter uvreda, uvrijediti offendere, offesa 侮辱, 侮辱する 모욕, 모욕하다 beledigen, belediging fornærme, fornærmelse obraza, obrazić insultar, insulto оскорбление, оскорблять förolämpa, förolämpning การดูถูก, ดูถูก hakaret, hakaret etmek lăng mạ, sự lăng mạ 侮辱
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
"My boy, I hope you will always defend your sister, and give anybody who insults her a good thrashing -- that is as it should be; but mind, I won't have any election blackguarding on my premises.
But Sancho did not so fully approve of his master's admonition as to let it pass without saying in reply, "Senor, I am a man of peace, meek and quiet, and I can put up with any affront because I have a wife and children to support and bring up; so let it be likewise a hint to your worship, as it cannot be a mandate, that on no account will I draw sword either against clown or against knight, and that here before God I forgive the insults that have been offered me, whether they have been, are, or shall be offered me by high or low, rich or poor, noble or commoner, not excepting any rank or condition whatsoever."
The shopkeeper there swindles you if he can, and insults you whether he succeeds in swindling you or not.
It was hard to bear the reiterated insults heaped on her, but Julian's influence still made itself felt.
Could I ever have imagined that I should be doomed to bear such insults under my own roof - to hear such things spoken in my presence; nay, spoken to me and of me; and by those who arrogated to themselves the name of gentlemen?
The expiring Lion said, "I have reluctantly brooked the insults of the brave, but to be compelled to endure such treatment from thee, a disgrace to Nature, is indeed to die a double death."
But what was still more curious, Flask--you know how curious all dreams are-- through all this rage that I was in, I somehow seemed to be thinking to myself, that after all, it was not much of an insult, that kick from ahab.
It matters little, however, the insult has been given, and I consider myself insulted accordingly.
But the insult generally passed unnoticed both by the priest and the bellringer.
"Geppetto, do not insult me or I shall call you Polendina."
From all I can learn, she first resented the expression of the admiral's opinion, in his presence, as worldly and selfish in the last degree; and then interpreted it, behind his back, as a hint to discourage his nephew's visits, which was a downright insult offered to a lady in her own house.
He put on all his majesty and sat under this rain of contempt and insult un- moved.