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.
To behave arrogantly.
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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.