Simple Definition of effrontery
: a very confident attitude or way of behaving that is shocking or rude
Full Definition of effronteryplural
: shameless boldness : insolence
Examples of effrontery in a sentence
<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 and Etymology 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
Seen and Heard
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