inscribe (v.) Look up inscribe at
1550s (form inscriven is from late 14c.), from Latin inscribere "to write in or on," (see inscription). Meaning "to dedicate (by means of an inscription)" is from 1640s. Related: Inscribed; inscribing.
inscription (n.) Look up inscription at
late 14c., from Latin inscriptionem (nominative inscriptio) "a writing upon, inscription," noun of action from past participle stem of inscribere "inscribe, to write on or in anything," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).
inscrutability (n.) Look up inscrutability at
1650s, from inscrutable + -ity.
inscrutable (adj.) Look up inscrutable at
c. 1500, from Late Latin inscrutabilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + scrutabilis, from scrutari "examine, ransack" (see scrutiny). Related: Inscrutably.
insect (n.) Look up insect at
c. 1600, from Latin (animal) insectum "(animal) with a notched or divided body," literally "cut into," from neuter past participle of insectare "to cut into, to cut up," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). Pliny's loan-translation of Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology), which was Aristotle's term for this class of life, in reference to their "notched" bodies.

First in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term also form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh (trychfil, from trychu "cut" + mil "animal"), Serbo-Croatian (zareznik, from rezati "cut"), Russian (nasekomoe, from sekat "cut"), etc.
insecticide (n.) Look up insecticide at
"substance which kills insects," 1865, from insect + -cide.
insectivore (n.) Look up insectivore at
1863, from French insectivore (1817), from Latin insectivorus, from comb. form of insectum (see insect) + vorare "devour, swallow" (see voracity).
insectivorous (adj.) Look up insectivorous at
1610s; see insect + -vorous.
insecure (adj.) Look up insecure at
1640s, "unsafe," from Medieval Latin insecurus, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin securus (see secure). Psychological sense dates from 1935; insecurity in this sense dates from 1917. Related: Insecurely.
insecurity (n.) Look up insecurity at
1640s, from Medieval Latin insecuritas, from insecurus (see insecure). Specific psychological sense is by 1917.
inseminate (v.) Look up inseminate at
1620s, "to cast as seed," from Latin inseminatus, past participle of inseminare "to sow, implant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + semen (genitive semenis) "seed." Meaning "to impregnate with semen" is attested from 1923. Related: Inseminated; inseminating.
insemination (n.) Look up insemination at
1650s, "action of sowing," noun of action from inseminate. Meaning "infusion of semen" is from 1860.
insensate (adj.) Look up insensate at
1510s, from Late Latin insensatus "irrational, foolish," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensatus "gifted with sense" (see sensate). Insensate means "not capable of feeling sensation," often "inanimate;" insensible means "lacking the power to feel with the senses," hence, often, "unconscious;" insensitive means "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," often "tactless."
insense (v.) Look up insense at
"cause (someone) to understand," c. 1400, ensense, from Old French ensenser "to enlighten, to bring to sense," from en- "in" (see in- (2)) + sens (see sense (n.)). Restricted to Northern English dialect from 17c.
insensibility (n.) Look up insensibility at
late 14c., from Late Latin insensibilitas, from Latin insensibilis (see insensible).
insensible (adj.) Look up insensible at
c. 1400, "lacking the power to feel with the senses," from Latin insensibilis "that cannot be felt," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensibilis (see sensible). Also sometimes in Middle English "incapable of being felt or perceived by the senses" (early 15c.). Meaning "unconscious" is attested from early 15c. See insensate.
insensibly (adv.) Look up insensibly at
early 15c.; see insensible + -ly (2).
insensitive (adj.) Look up insensitive at
c. 1600, "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning "without consideration for the feelings of others" attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.
inseparability (n.) Look up inseparability at
1620s, from Late Latin inseparabilitas, from Latin inseparabilis (see inseparable).
inseparable (adj.) Look up inseparable at
mid-14c., from Latin inseparabilis "that cannot be separated," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + separabilis, from separare (see separate (v.)). Related: Inseparably.
insert (v.) Look up insert at
"to set in, put or place in," 1520s, from insert, past participle of Middle English inseren "to set in place, to graft, to introduce (into the mind)" (late 14c.), from Latin inserere "to put in, implant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + serere "join together" (see series). Related: Inserted; inserting. The noun meaning "something inserted" is from 1893.
insertion (n.) Look up insertion at
1590s, "act of putting in," from Late Latin insertionem (nominative insertio), noun of action from past participle stem of inserere (see insert). Meaning "that which is inserted" attested from 1620s.
inservice (adj.) Look up inservice at
also in-service, 1928, from in + service.
inset (n.) Look up inset at
1550s, "influx of water, place where water flows in," from in + set (n.2). Meaning "extra pages of a book, etc." is from 1875; that of "small map in the border of a larger one" is from 1881.
inshallah Look up inshallah at
1857, phonetic spelling of Arabic in sha Allah "if Allah wills (it)."
inside (n.) Look up inside at
late 14c., ynneside "interior of the body," compound of in (adv.) + side (n.). The adjective is 1610s, from the noun. Inside job "robbery, espionage, etc., committed by or with the help of a resident or servant of a place" is attested by 1887, American English (also, late 19c., early 20c., "indoors work"). Inside track "advantage" is metaphoric because those lanes are shorter on a curved track. Inside of, in reference to time, is from 1839.
inside-out (adj.) Look up inside-out at
"with the in side being out," c. 1600, from inside + out (adv.).
insider (n.) Look up insider at
"one in possession of special information by virtue of being within some organization," 1848, from inside + -er (1). Originally in reference to the stock markets.
insidious (adj.) Look up insidious at
1540s, from Middle French insidieux (15c.) or directly from Latin insidiosus "deceitful, cunning, artful," from insidiae (plural) "plot, snare, ambush," from insidere "sit on, occupy," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). Related: Insidiously; insidiousness.
insight (n.) Look up insight at
c. 1200, innsihht, "sight with the eyes of the mind," mental vision, understanding," from in + sight. Sense shaded into "penetrating understanding into character or hidden nature" (1580s).
insightful (adj.) Look up insightful at
1881, from insight + -ful. Related: Insightfully; insightfulness.
insignia (n.) Look up insignia at
1640s, from Latin insignia, neuter plural of insigne "badge, mark," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + signum "mark" (see sign). Singular is insigne.
insignificance (n.) Look up insignificance at
1690s, from insignificant + -ance. Related: Insignificancy (1650s).
insignificant (adj.) Look up insignificant at
1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + significant. Related: Insignificantly.
insincere (adj.) Look up insincere at
1620s (implied in insincerely), from Latin insincerus "not genuine, not pure, adulterated," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sincerus (see sincere).
insincerity (n.) Look up insincerity at
1540s, from Latin insincerus (see insincere) + -ity.
insinuate (v.) Look up insinuate at
1520s, from Latin insinuatus, past participle of insinuare "to throw in, push in, make a way; creep in, intrude, bring in by windings and curvings, wind one's way into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + sinuare "to wind, bend, curve," from sinus "a curve, winding" (see sinus). Sense of "to introduce tortuously or indirectly" is from 1640s. Related: Insinuated; insinuating; insinuatingly.
insinuation (n.) Look up insinuation at
1520s, from Latin insinuationem (nominative insinuatio) "entrance through a narrow way; an ingratiating oneself," noun of action from past participle stem of insinuare (see insinuate).
insipid (adj.) Look up insipid at
1610s, "without taste or perceptible flavor," from French insipide (16c.), from Late Latin inspidus "tasteless," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sapidus "tasty," from sapere "have a taste" (also "be wise;" see sapient). Figurative meaning "uninteresting, dull" first recorded 1640s, but it was also a secondary sense in Medieval Latin.
In ye coach ... went Mrs. Barlow, the King's mistress and mother to ye Duke of Monmouth, a browne, beautifull, bold, but insipid creature. [John Evelyn, diary, Aug. 18, 1649]
Related: Insipidly.
insipidity (n.) Look up insipidity at
c. 1600, from insipid + -ity.
insipience (n.) Look up insipience at
early 15c., "lack of wisdom, foolishness," from Old French insipience, from Latin insipientia "folly," from insipientem (see insipient).
insipient (adj.) Look up insipient at
"foolish," mid-15c., from Latin insipientem (nominative insipiens) "unwise, foolish," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sapientem (see sapient). "Now mostly, or wholly, disused to avoid confusion with incipient" [OED].
insist (v.) Look up insist at
1580s, from Latin insistere "persist, dwell upon, stand upon," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + sistere "take a stand" (see assist). Perhaps in some cases a back-formation from insistence. Related: Insisted; insisting.
insistence (n.) Look up insistence at
mid-15c., from Middle French insister (see insist) + -ence.
insistent (adj.) Look up insistent at
1620s, "standing on something," from Latin insistentem (nominative insistens), present participle of insistere (see insist). Meaning "dwelling firmly on something asserted" is from 1868. Related: Insistently.
insobriety (n.) Look up insobriety at
1610s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sobriety.
insolate (v.) Look up insolate at
"to expose to the rays of the sun," 1620s, from Latin insolatus, past participle of insolare, from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + sol "sun" (see Sol). Related: Insolated; insolation.
insole (n.) Look up insole at
1850s, from in + sole.
insolence (n.) Look up insolence at
late 14c., from Latin insolentia "unusualness, haughtiness, arrogance," from insolentem (see insolent).
insolent (adj.) Look up insolent at
late 14c., "contemptuous, arrogant, haughty," from Latin insolentem (nominative insolens) "arrogant, immoderate," literally "unusual," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + solentem, present participle of solere "be accustomed," which possibly is related to sodalis "close companion," and to suescere "become used to." Meaning "contemptuous of rightful authority" is from 1670s. Related: Insolently.