1. To introduce gently or slowly, as by a winding or narrow passage, or a gentle, persistent movement. "The water easily insinuates itself into, and placidly distends, the vessels of vegetables." (Woodward)

2. To introduce artfully; to infuse gently; to instill. "All the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment." (Locke) "Horace laughs to shame all follies and insinuates virtue, rather by familiar examples than by the severity of precepts." (Dryden)

3. To hint; to suggest by remote allusion; often used derogatorily; as, did you mean to insinuate anything?

4. To push or work (one's self), as into favor; to introduce by slow, gentle, or artful means; to ingratiate; used reflexively. "He insinuated himself into the very good grace of the Duke of Buckingham." (Clarendon)

Synonyms: To instill, hint, suggest, intimate.

Origin: L. Insinuatus, p. P. Of insinuareto insinuate; pref. In- in + sinus the bosom. See Sinuous.

(01 Mar 1998)

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