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noun te·mer·i·ty \tə-ˈmer-ə-tē\

: the quality of being confident and unafraid of danger or punishment especially in a way that seems rude or foolish

plural te·mer·i·ties

Full Definition of TEMERITY

:  unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition :  rashness, recklessness
:  a rash or reckless act

Examples of TEMERITY

  1. He was punished for his temerity.
  2. <she had the temerity to ask my boyfriend if she could go out with him should he and I ever break up>
  3. He defeated giant corporations—the auto industry, big pharma—back when no one else was even trying to; he had the temerity to believe that fighting for safety and quality and transparency was a quintessentially American thing to do. —Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 16 Feb. 2007

Origin of TEMERITY

Middle English temeryte, from Latin temeritas, from temere blindly, recklessly; akin to Old High German demar darkness, Latin tenebrae, Sanskrit tamas
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of TEMERITY

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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