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effrontery

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noun ef·fron·tery \i-ˈfrən-tə-rē, e-\

Simple Definition of effrontery

  • : a very confident attitude or way of behaving that is shocking or rude

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of effrontery

plural effronteries

  1. :  shameless boldness :  insolence

Examples of effrontery in a sentence

  1. <the little squirt had the effrontery to deny eating any cookies, even with the crumbs still on his lips>



Did You Know?

To the Romans, the shameless were "without forehead," at least figuratively. Effrontery derives from Latin effrons, a word that combines the prefix ex- (meaning "out" or "without") and "frons" (meaning "forehead" or "brow"). The Romans never used "effrons" literally to mean "without forehead," and theorists aren't in full agreement about the connection between the modern meaning of "effrontery" and the literal senses of its roots. Some explain that "frons" can also refer to the capacity for blushing, so a person without "frons" would be "unblushing" or "shameless." Others theorize that since the Romans believed that the brow was the seat of a person's modesty, being without a brow meant being "immodest," or again, "shameless."

Origin of effrontery

French effronterie, ultimately from Medieval Latin effront-, effrons shameless, from Latin ex- + front-, frons forehead


First Known Use: 1697

Synonym Discussion of effrontery

temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall, chutzpah mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness. temerity suggests boldness arising from rashness and contempt of danger <had the temerity to refuse>. audacity implies a disregard of restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence <an entrepreneur with audacity and vision>. hardihood suggests firmness in daring and defiance <admired for her hardihood>. effrontery implies shameless, insolent disregard of propriety or courtesy <outraged at his effrontery>. nerve, cheek, gall, and chutzpah are informal equivalents for effrontery <the nerve of that guy> <has the cheek to call herself a singer> <had the gall to demand proof> <the chutzpah needed for a career in show business>.


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