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insinuate
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insinuate


Hester bristled: "Are you insinuating—"
Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  to imply (subtly suggest) something unpleasant
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insinuates insinuating insinuate insinuated insinuator
Notes:
More rarely, when someone is said to have insinuated themselves into a situation it means they have subtly inserted themselves — typically into a favorable position in an underhanded manner.
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Samples:
  • Hester bristled: "Are you insinuating—"
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • It’s like I’m insinuating we’re a team.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Slammed
  • All those ridiculous questions insinuating that Kevin kept her under lock and key.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Choice
  • This was another strange question, but before I could answer, Miss Thomas said, "James, what are you insinuating?
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  Bud, Not Buddy

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  • "Are you insinuating that I’m a moron?"
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client
  • He inspected the bathroom, the kitchen, the airing cupboard, and, finally, the downstairs hall, in which there was nothing to be seen but the family’s bicycles, a pile of empty shopping bags, a fallen diaper, and the stray tendrils of fog that had insinuated themselves into the hall from the open door to the street.
    Neil Gaiman  --  The Graveyard Book
  • "Are you insinuating I’m the one with the issue?"
    Colleen Hoover  --  Hopeless
  • "We’re not talking about it, so stop bringing up his name and trying to insinuate him into this conversation."
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility
  • I made a direct pass at Leslie as soon as we were back inside the front door, insinuating my arm around her waist, but she managed to slip away with a tinkly little laugh and the observation—too cryptic for me to quite get straight—that "haste makes waste."
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Grinning insinuatingly at me, one of them picked up a small stone and heaved it out across the steely surface.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander

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  • "Is that so," I said, with resolute blandness; in the antiques trade, I had daily occasion to deal with insinuating old gents of his stripe and Mrs. Barbour, who had not let go my hand, only squeezed it tighter.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • "Not in the way you’re insinuating," Jenks replied.
    James Patterson  --  1st to Die
  • What are you insinuating?
    Veronica Roth  --  Insurgent
  • When she was eight months pregnant, one of Enrique’s uncles insinuated that the baby didn’t belong to Enrique.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique’s Journey
  • The police descended on his house, leaning heavily on him, insinuating things.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • A radio with a faulty connection played loud and rasping for a while, then suddenly quiet and insinuating.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • We both know that he has been profligate in every sense of the word; that he has neither integrity nor honour; that he is as false and deceitful as he is insinuating.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • I will be hang’d, if some eternal villain, Some busy and insinuating rogue, Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office, Have not devis’d this slander; I’ll be hang’d else.
    William Shakespeare  --  Othello, the Moor of Venice
  • The man who entered was a sturdy, middle-sized fellow, some thirty years of age, clean-shaven, and sallow-skinned, with a bland, insinuating manner, and a pair of wonderfully sharp and penetrating grey eyes.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Ichabod, therefore, made his advances in a quiet and gently insinuating manner.
    Washington Irving  --  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Well, you stand well with M. Morrel I hear,—you insinuating dog, you!
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • —(in an accent meant to be insinuating)—I am sure you have seen and understood me.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • It was the women who were eager to rush into print with stories insinuating that being seen with me at a restaurant was the sign of a great romance.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • The willow is in full plumage and is no help, with its insinuating whispers.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Yet, this wild hint seemed inferentially negatived, by what a grey Manxman insinuated, an old sepulchral man, who, having never before sailed out of Nantucket, had never ere this laid eye upon wild Ahab.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • This circumstance pleased M. de Treville much, as he thus became certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between M. de la Tremouille’s testimony and himself.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • I added in an insinuating tone.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • She merely needs to insinuate, insinuate anything, don’t you see?
    Ken Kesey  --  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Roland Weary, eighteen years old, insinuated himself between the scouts, draped a heavy arm around the shoulder of each.
    Kurt Vonnegut  --  Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Mammy brought up tempting trays, insinuating that now she was a widow she might eat as much as she pleased, but Scarlett had no appetite.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • The first is, to gain over my adversary’s lawyer with a double fee, who will then betray his client by insinuating that he hath justice on his side.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • "Are you insinuating that Millennium’s credibility is diminished because a well-known financier with significant resources has entered the picture?"
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • That silky, insinuating voice!
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • Merely making a sign to a man at the bar, Fagin walked straight upstairs, and opening the door of a room, and softly insinuating himself into the chamber, looked anxiously about: shading his eyes with his hand, as if in search of some particular person.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • ’No, Peggotty,’ returned my mother, ’but you insinuated.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • "Don’t be afraid," he continued, in an insinuating way.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • —I would go a step farther, Mr Bloom insinuated.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • He was the largest of the group, wearing dark red fighting trunks much too small to conceal the erection which projected from him as though in answer to the insinuating low-registered moaning of the clarinet.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • It even prevailed over the miserable travesty of the song of David which the singer had selected from a volume of similar effusions, and caused the sense to be forgotten in the insinuating harmony of the sounds.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • Why should you think it so strange that in some countries there are monkeys which insinuate themselves into the good graces of the ladies; they are a fourth part human, as I am a fourth part Spaniard.
    Voltaire  --  Candide
  • Northern Light Infantry pay stubs and ID cards Indians later claimed to have found on dead soldiers insinuate a different story.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • This man has insinuated himself into your confidence, and almost into your family under a false name.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Matthew Maule understood the insinuated suspicion.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • He approaches you, he insinuates himself; offers you a pinch of snuff, or picks up your hat.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • The squeal insinuated itself into the voice and subdued it.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • But Anna’s aunt had through a common acquaintance insinuated that he had already compromised the girl, and that he was in honor bound to make her an offer.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • What a case am I in, then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play!
    William Shakespeare  --  As You Like It
  • Not for nothing does he insinuate himself into the good will of his shipmates, since at the least all hands will at a pinch say a good word for him at all hazards.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • To go further, insinuating more, pulling me into an argument I didn’t deserve, much less want to have.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • Sometimes it insinuates itself into my mind, little by little.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
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Associated words [difficulty]:   insinuate [2]
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