Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To express or otherwise convey (a thought, for example) in an indirect or insidious way. synonym: suggest.
  • intransitive verb To maneuver or insert (oneself) into a place:
  • intransitive verb To cause (oneself) to be involved or accepted by subtle and artful means.
  • intransitive verb To make insinuations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bring in tortuously or indirectly; introduce by devious means or by imperceptible degrees; worm in.
  • To hint obliquely; suggest indirectly, or by remote allusion.
  • Synonyms Intimate, Suggest, etc. See hint, transitive verb
  • To move tortuously; wind.
  • To creep or flow softly in; enter imperceptibly or stealthily.
  • To gain on the affections or confidence by cautious or artful means; ingratiate one's self.
  • To make hints or indirect suggestions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To introduce gently or slowly, as by a winding or narrow passage, or a gentle, persistent movement.
  • transitive verb To introduce artfully; to infuse gently; to instill.
  • transitive verb To hint; to suggest by remote allusion; -- often used derogatorily
  • transitive verb To push or work (one's self), as into favor; to introduce by slow, gentle, or artful means; to ingratiate; -- used reflexively.
  • intransitive verb To creep, wind, or flow in; to enter gently, slowly, or imperceptibly, as into crevices.
  • intransitive verb To ingratiate one's self; to obtain access or favor by flattery or cunning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb rare to creep, wind, or flow into; to enter gently, slowly, or imperceptibly, as into crevices
  • verb to ingratiate; to obtain access to or introduce something by subtle, cunning or artful means
  • verb to hint; to suggest tacitly and avoid a direct statement

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

  • verb introduce or insert (oneself) in a subtle manner
  • verb give to understand

Etymologies

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

[Latin īnsinuāre, īnsinuāt- : in-, in; see in– + sinuāre, to curve (from sinus, curve).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin īnsinuō ("to push in, creep in, steal in"), from in ("in") + sinus ("a winding, bend, bay, fold, bosom")

Examples

  • But one of the lessons that consumer hype tries to insinuate is that we must never rebel against the new, never even question it.

    Archive 2004-11-01

  • Indeed, the last thing they want to insinuate is that the Democrats are altogether too solicitous of the interests of Latinos, because Republicans want to claim that they are the ones who really care about the things that Latinos care about.

    Balkinization

  • But one of the lessons that consumer hype tries to insinuate is that we must never rebel against the new, never even question it.

    The recommended daily allowance

  • Indeed, the last thing they want to insinuate is that the Democrats are altogether too solicitous of the interests of Latinos, because Republicans want to claim that they are the ones who really care about the things that Latinos care about.

    Balkinization

  • And if so, what follows? but that thy righteousness is more, and has been done in a fuller spirit than ever were thy sins: but thus to insinuate is to insinuate a lie; for there is no man, but while he is a sinner, sinneth with a more full spirit, than any good man can act righteousness withal.

    Works of John Bunyan — Volume 02

  • But even beyond that, look, even if that's a harsh comeback against David Letterman to kind of insinuate a certain pedophilic vibe to him, you can't really beg for mercy after you just told a joke about the woman's daughter.

    CNN Transcript Jun 14, 2009

  • But even beyond that, look, even if that's a harsh comeback against David Letterman to kind of insinuate a certain pedophilic vibe to him, you can't really beg for mercy after you just told a joke about the woman's daughter.

    CNN Transcript Jun 14, 2009

  • I don't want to insinuate which is better for Mongolia.

    Andrew Racz: The Mongolian Wakeup Call

  • So, what McCain has to do is kind of insinuate himself into the conversation.

    CNN Transcript Mar 13, 2008

  • (I say "insinuate" because that is all that the likes of McIntyre has to do to send his groupies into paroxysms of accusation, slander, and denial -- while he, himself, tries to keep his hands clean of the mess.)

    DeSmogBlog - Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science

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