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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce insubordinate (audio)

Dictionary definition of insubordinate

Defiant of authority, refusing to obey orders, or submit to proper supervision or control.
"His insubordinate attitude towards his superiors caused tension in the workplace."

Detailed meaning of insubordinate

Insubordinate people are often described as being defiant, disobedient or resistant to authority, whether it's a boss, teacher or anyone else in a position of authority.

The behavior is characterized by not following the commands or instructions of a superior, refusing to carry out lawful orders or performing assigned tasks, or openly expressing disagreement or defiance. The action might be seen as challenging the authority or challenging the system. It is considered uncooperative and disruptive, particularly in a workplace setting.

Insubordination is often considered as a form of misconduct and can lead to disciplinary action. In work or military contexts, it can be grounds for termination of employment or dismissal.

Example sentences containing insubordinate

1. His insubordinate attitude toward his boss jeopardized his career.
2. Insubordinate behavior can lead to conflicts in the workplace.
3. She was reprimanded for her insubordinate actions and defiance.
4. Insubordinate employees undermine team cohesion and productivity.
5. Managers must address insubordinate conduct promptly and firmly.
6. Insubordinate actions often result in disciplinary measures.

History and etymology of insubordinate

The adjective 'insubordinate' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is formed from the Latin prefix 'in' (not) and the word 'subordinatus,' which is the past participle of 'subordinare,' meaning 'to place under' or 'to subordinate.' In Latin, 'subordinatus' described something or someone who had been placed in a position of submission or under the authority of another. Over time, the term transitioned into English as 'insubordinate,' retaining its core meaning of being defiant of authority, refusing to obey orders, or failing to submit to proper supervision or control. The etymology of 'insubordinate' effectively conveys the concept of going against established authority or hierarchy, emphasizing the refusal to be placed under someone else's command or direction.

Quiz: Find the meaning of insubordinate

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Further usage examples of insubordinate

1. The insubordinate employee challenged the company's policies openly.
2. Insubordinate behavior is detrimental to a positive work environment.
3. Insubordinate workers may face serious repercussions.
4. They were dismissed for their unrelenting insubordinate stance.
5. Insubordinate acts can severely damage professional relationships.
6. Addressing insubordinate attitudes is essential for maintaining order.
7. Insubordinate employees disrupt the workplace, causing chaos.
8. Insubordinate actions can erode trust and teamwork within a group.
9. Consequences for insubordinate conduct vary widely in organizations.
10. Insubordinate behavior undermines the established chain of command.
11. Dealing with insubordinate team members requires careful handling.
12. Insubordinate workers resist authority figures and challenge hierarchy.
13. A culture of insubordination can have detrimental effects on a company.
14. Managers must address insubordinate conduct swiftly to maintain control.
15. She faced serious consequences for her persistent insubordinate actions.
16. Insubordinate attitudes can hinder team collaboration and progress.
17. They were terminated due to their insubordinate behavior and defiance.
18. Insubordinate actions reflect poorly on professionalism and cooperation.
19. Insubordinate employees disrupt workplace harmony, demanding intervention.
20. The sergeant major hollered in the face of the insubordinate soldier.
21. The employee's insubordinate behavior resulted in his dismissal.
22. The soldier was court-martialed for insubordinate conduct.
23. The insubordinate student was sent to the principal's office.
24. She had no tolerance for insubordinate behavior in her team.
25. The workers' insubordinate actions led to a strike.
26. The company took action against the insubordinate employees.
27. The insubordinate employee refused to follow orders.
28. The insubordinate children were grounded by their parents.
29. The insubordinate behavior of the athlete led to suspension from the team.
30. The insubordinate attitude of the crew members caused problems on the ship.
31. The company had a zero-tolerance policy for insubordinate behavior.



disobedient, obedient, compliant, submissive


GRE 10 (Graduate Record Examination), Frustration and Exasperation, Conduct and Character, Control and Discipline, Disapproval and Disrespect

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