1

affront

verb af·front \ ə-ˈfrənt \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of affront

transitive verb
1 a :to insult especially to the face by behavior or language
  • He was affronted by her rudeness.
b :to cause offense to
  • laws that affront society
2 a :to face in defiance :confront
  • affront death
b obsolete :to encounter face-to-face
3 :to appear directly before

affront was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of affront in a Sentence

  1. did not mean to affront you when I told you I didn't need your help

Recent Examples of affront from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affront.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The Middle English "afronten," the ancestor of the Modern English verb "affront," was borrowed from the Anglo-French afrunter, a verb which means "to defy" but which also has the specific meaning "to strike on the forehead" or "to slap on the face." These more literal senses reveal the word's Latin origins, a combination of the Latin prefix ad-, meaning "to" or "towards," and "front-, frons," which means "forehead" (and which is also the source of the English word front). While the striking or slapping sense of "afrunter" was not adopted by English, it is alluded to in the oldest uses of "afronten" in Middle English in the sense of "to insult especially to the face."

Origin and Etymology of affront

Middle English afronten, afrounten, borrowed from Anglo-French afrunter "to strike the front of, shame," derivative from the phrase a frunt "facing, openly, blatantly," from a "to, at" (going back to Latin ad) + frunt "1front, forehead" — more at at

Synonym Discussion of affront

offend, outrage, affront, insult mean to cause hurt feelings or deep resentment. offend need not imply an intentional hurting but it may indicate merely a violation of the victim's sense of what is proper or fitting.
    • hoped that my remarks had not offended her
outrage implies offending beyond endurance and calling forth extreme feelings.
    • outraged by their accusations
affront implies treating with deliberate rudeness or contemptuous indifference to courtesy.
    • deeply affronted by his callousness
insult suggests deliberately causing humiliation, hurt pride, or shame.
    • insulted every guest at the party

2

affront

noun

Definition of affront

1 :a deliberate offense :insult
  • an affront to his dignity
2 obsolete :a hostile encounter

Examples of affront in a Sentence

  1. He regarded her rude behavior as a personal affront.

  2. took it as an affront that she wasn't asked to help cook Thanksgiving dinner

Recent Examples of affront from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affront.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of affront

borrowed from Middle French, noun derivative of affronter "to 1affront"


AFFRONT Defined for English Language Learners

affront

verb

Definition of affront for English Language Learners

  • : to do or say something that shows a lack of respect for (someone or someone's feelings)


affront

noun

Definition of affront for English Language Learners

  • : an action or statement that insults or offends someone


AFFRONT Defined for Kids

1

affront

verb af·front \ ə-ˈfrənt \

Definition of affront for Students

affronted; affronting
:to insult openly :offend He was affronted by her rude behavior.

2

affront

noun

Definition of affront for Students

:an act or statement that insults or offends someone


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to praise usually to excess

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