affront

verb
af·​front | \ ə-ˈfrənt How to pronounce affront (audio) \
affronted; affronting; affronts

Definition of affront

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : to face in defiance : confront affront death
b obsolete : to encounter face-to-face
3 : to appear directly before

affront

noun

Definition of affront (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for affront

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for affront

Verb

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

Did You Know?

Verb

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."

Examples of affront in a Sentence

Verb did not mean to affront you when I told you I didn't need your help Noun He regarded her rude behavior as a personal affront. took it as an affront that she wasn't asked to help cook Thanksgiving dinner
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Its product refuses to entertain while its meta events such as the Oscars affront those who are naïve enough to beg it for escapism. Armond White, National Review, "The Oscars Introduce Hollywood’s New Party: The Unpleasant Party," 28 Apr. 2021 Life itself, then, could affront and ridicule and even torment the provocateur: the mocker brutally mocked by personal reality. New York Times, "Cynthia Ozick Calls the New Philip Roth Biography a ‘Narrative Masterwork’," 1 Apr. 2021 Other customers show up without masks, occasionally reacting belligerently or as if personally affronted when asked to put on a mask or practice social distancing. Anchorage Daily News, "Navigating the mask-wearing minefield between employees and customers," 2 June 2020 Judge for yourself whether Errol Morris’ documentary American Dharma affronts the Republic by being too kind to Bannon. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Radioactive Steve Bannon Movie," 1 Nov. 2019 And while some may point to Kenny Dalglish or Steven Gerrard as Mr. Liverpool, either of those men would be affronted at that suggestion, because the only true contender is Bill Shankly. SI.com, "Bill Shankly: The Innovative Motivator Who Rebuilt Liverpool From the Ground Up," 23 July 2019 Snowden says he was affronted by the rank hypocrisy of it all. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In Edward Snowden’s New Memoir, the Disclosures This Time Are Personal," 13 Sep. 2019 It’s hard to imagine anybody feeling affronted by him. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "The Turnabout on Religious Freedom," 21 June 2019 Which is obviously why so many people are affronted by it. Cincinnati Enquirer, "Read more from this Project," 13 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite protests of the fencing, which was seen by many as an affront to democracy, Capitol security officials had largely held off on making any changes until seeing the results of independent or internal security reviews. Washington Post, "U.S. Capitol Police to begin removing Capitol fencing, saying no ‘known credible threats’," 15 Mar. 2021 GOP House minority caucus chair Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences described the bill as an affront to small business amid the economic fallout from the pandemic. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Smithsonian exhibit, summer camp boom, turn on the lights: News from around our 50 states," 10 Mar. 2021 Investigators looking into wartime abuses have been jailed, forced to flee the country or put under travel bans, in a clear message that the government sees accountability for past crimes as an affront. New York Times, "Fading Sri Lankan Hopes for Justice Rest on U.N. Rights Council," 24 Feb. 2021 To other viewers, the picture, with its swaggering size and mythic overtones, read as an affront. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "Inside the U.S. Army’s Warehouse Full of Nazi Art," 4 Jan. 2021 Ward Connerly, who helped lead the campaign against the measure, said California voters saw Proposition 16 as an affront to the principle of fairness. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Why affirmative action measure failed in California," 4 Nov. 2020 The debate over school dress was also framed by the resurgence of the long-standing polemic over Muslim headscarves, seen as an affront to France's secular foundations. Elaine Ganley, Star Tribune, "Crop tops or 'republican' dress? France debates schoolwear," 26 Sep. 2020 China’s attempts to paint America as the real human-rights abuser is an affront to truth. WSJ, "China Lacks the Credibility to Bully the U.S.," 26 Mar. 2021 Others have affixed images of Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the army chief who orchestrated the coup, to the hanging htamein, an affront to his virility. New York Times, "‘She Is a Hero’: In Myanmar’s Protests, Women Are on the Front Lines," 4 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of affront

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for affront

Verb

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 "front entry 1, forehead" — more at at entry 1

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for affront

Time Traveler

The first known use of affront was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affront.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affront. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for affront

affront

verb

English Language Learners Definition of affront

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

affront

noun

English Language Learners Definition of affront (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : an action or statement that insults or offends someone

affront

verb
af·​front | \ ə-ˈfrənt How to pronounce affront (audio) \
affronted; affronting

Kids Definition of affront

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

affront

noun

Kids Definition of affront (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or statement that insults or offends someone

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Comments on affront

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