Definitions

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

  • adj. Exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold: impertinent of a child to lecture a grownup.
  • adj. Not pertinent; irrelevant. See Synonyms at irrelevant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. insolent, ill-mannered
  • adj. irrelevant (opposite of pertinent)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not pertinent; not pertaining to the matter in hand; having no bearing on the subject; not to the point; irrelevant; inapplicable.
  • adj. Contrary to, or offending against, the rules of propriety or good breeding; guilty of, or prone to, rude, unbecoming, or uncivil words or actions
  • adj. Trifing; inattentive; frivolous.
  • n. An impertinent person.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not pertinent; not pertaining to the matter in hand; not to the point; irrelevant; inapposite; out of place.
  • Negligent of or inattentive to the matter in hand; careless; frivolous.
  • Contrary to the rules of propriety or good breeding; uncivil: speaking or acting presumptuously or offensively; pragmatical; meddling: as, impertinent behavior; an impertinent boy.
  • Synonyms Impertinent, Officious, saucy, impudent, insolent, rude, unmannerly, pert, bold, Impertinent means forward, intrusive, generally from curiosity, but sometimes with undesired advice, etc.; officious means forward to offer and undertake service where it is neither needed nor desired. A busybody may be either impertinent or officious, or both. See impudence.
  • n. One who interferes in what does not concern him; one who is rude, uncivil, or offensive in behavior; a meddler; an intruder.

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

  • adj. characterized by a lightly pert and exuberant quality
  • adj. improperly forward or bold
  • adj. not pertinent to the matter under consideration

Etymologies

Middle English, irrelevant, from Old French, from Late Latin impertinēns, impertinent- : Latin in-, not; see in-1 + Latin pertinēns, pertinent; see pertinent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Belfield, with great indignation, demanded what he meant by the term impertinent fellow; and Sir Robert yet more insolently repeated it:

    Cecilia; Or, Memoirs of an Heiress — Volume 1

  • Elinor gently remonstrated with him on the meanness and absurdity of such conduct; but he silenced what he termed her impertinent interference in matters which did not concern her.

    Mark Hurdlestone Or, The Two Brothers

  • The word impertinent has appeared in 12 New York Times articles in the past year, including on May 4 in "Hermès Is Selling Its Stake in Gaultier's Fashion House," by Suzy Menkes and David Jolly:

    NYT > Home Page

  • True; and how much more impertinent is it to give your advice when you can know nothing about the truth, and admit you could not inquire into it.

    Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not

  • How immensely impertinent is the prejudice that forbids so natural a use of money! why should the better half of a man's actions be always under the dominion of some prescriptive slavery; 'Tis hideous to think of.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Charles Collins is to be married at Christmas. all the friends who once so highly esteemd & loved him, have now but one opinion of his character — that he is equally vain impertinent cold-hearted & selfish.

    Letter 169

  • But how malicious and impertinent is this creature to talk to me in such

    Evelina: or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World

  • On the latest, Mr.A. J. Duffield's, it would be in every sense of the word impertinent in me to offer an opinion here.

    Don Quixote

  • I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent.

    Walden

  • Both, particularly the former, made numerous corrections, which Fuente, not without reason, calls impertinent, scratching out whole sentences and adding others.

    The Interior Castle or The Mansions

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