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temerity

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noun te·mer·i·ty \tə-ˈmer-ə-tē\

Simple Definition of temerity

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

Full Definition of temerity

plural te·mer·i·ties

  1. 1 :  unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition :  rashness, recklessness

  2. 2 :  a rash or reckless act

Examples of temerity

  1. 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

  2. A wisp of a kid (six feet, 160 pounds) with the temerity to buzz pitches up and in to Barry Bonds, Hudson has a bit of Pedro in him. —ESPN, 24 July 2000

  3. … all the while you're balancing your two prevailing interests: recording her words to later use against her—because, she, too, had the temerity to be relatively famous and attractive (with a master's from Penn)—while also, more pressingly, trying to get invited back to her apartment. —Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, 2000

  4. He was punished for his temerity.

  5. <she had the temerity to ask my boyfriend if she could go out with him should he and I ever break up>



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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