Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Blithe lack of concern; nonchalance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. carelessness, heedlessness, indifference, or casual unconcern
  • n. nonchalance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Carelessness; heedlessness; thoughtlessness; unconcern.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being insouciant; heedless indifference or unconcern; carelessness of feeling or manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you

Etymologies

From French insouciance, from in- ("not") + souciant ("worrying"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The sheer insouciance from the IRS towards all tax-deviant clerics following Pulpit Freedom Sundays in 2008 and 2009 leaves little precedent for a change in policy this year.

    Stuart Whatley: Pulpit Politicking Returns for 2010 Election Cycle

  • But his carelessness--what some have the nerve to call his insouciance putting a positive, oh-so-Continental spin on good old-fashioned incompetence--was his undoing.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Mr. Blair proffers a stauch defence of the U. K.'s "special relationship" with the U.S. and says he finds the "insouciance" with which it is treated in some quarters as "a little shocking".

    Tony Blair -- the Money Men's Friend

  • In fact, the Fiver isn't even sure you spell insouciance "insouciance", it just typed the letters out, sat back in front of the television and waited for the microwaves to wash it out to sea.

    Syntheticpitchophobic Spurs Players; and The Gallic Shrug Made Flesh

  • The pictures above show Smokey's parents, Sam & Braise, illustrating the concept of "méfiance" (see Sam, left) and carefree "insouciance" (see Braise, right).

    French Word-A-Day:

  • For example, far from displaying "insouciance" with respect to scientific questions, as Crews alleges, David Jacobs is quite right to dismiss as irrelevant skeptical worries about the presumed impracticality of interstellar travel.

    'When Words Collide': An Exchange

  • Suddenly, however, she laughed and a flash of the insouciance which is the keystone of her profession appeared in her smile.

    Traitor's Purse

  • He went his own way and lived as he pleased; having something about him of that shrewd, humorous, imperturbable "insouciance" which served Walt Whitman so well, and which is so much wiser, kindlier and more human a shield for an artist's freedom, than the sarcasms of a Whistler or the insolence of a Wilde.

    Suspended Judgments Essays on Books and Sensations

  • He took the civil service examinations with an apparent indifference that made Strachey’s sister ask if his insouciance was a pose.

    The Worldly Philosophers

  • Dinner cooked by Jamie Oliver and served in the State Room of 11 Downing Street to women guests who included sensible role model Naomi Campbell and J K Rowling who, coincidentally, gave £1m to the Labour Party last year represents the kind of insouciance reminiscent of Marie Antoinette at Trianon.

    Telegraph Blogs

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Comments

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  • That's a bit like asking why cockroaches would survive a nuclear holocaust.

    January 2, 2013

  • Why is there no entry for 'souciance'?

    January 2, 2013

  • similar to nonchalance

    June 28, 2008

  • similar to nonchalance

    June 28, 2008

  • Motivated by insouciance, the
    Despatch Clerk idly amuses himself
    correcting the grosser solecisms
    committed by his superiors to
    print in the monthly house magazine (called
    Info-Flo)...

    - Peter Reading, Concord, from Tom O' Bedlam's Beauties, 1981

    June 28, 2008

  • "When Mr. O'Rourke set out into the world after a youthful Maoist phase (it was, after all, the '60s) there was an element of novelty to his insouciance, and his beliefs, like the larger movement of which he was a part, constituted their own kind of insurgency."

    January 11, 2007