audacious

adjective
au·da·cious | \ ȯ-ˈdā-shəs \

Definition of audacious 

1a : intrepidly daring : adventurous an audacious mountain climber

b : recklessly bold : rash an audacious maneuver

2 : contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum : insolent an audacious maverick

3 : marked by originality and verve audacious experiments

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Other words from audacious

audaciously adverb
audaciousness noun

Did You Know?

Shakespeare used "audacious" seven times in his plays. That in itself wasn't exactly an act of bold originality. The word, which comes from the Latin root audac- ("bold"), had been around for decades. But the Bard was the first to use "audacious" in its "insolent" sense ("Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace," Henry VI Part 2), and he may have been the first to use the adverb "audaciously." "Audacious" itself was something of an innovation in the 16th century: it was one of the earliest "-acious" words in English. Subsequently, we've added lots of "-acious" adjectives to our lexicon, including "pugnacious," "loquacious," "voracious," and even, in the 19th century, "bodacious" (which is most likely a combination of "bold" and "audacious").

Examples of audacious in a Sentence

Whatever made him think his audacious fiction would sell—especially after a lifetime of literary marginalization—is a mystery, but he has certainly been vindicated. With a rush of work that he did not begin publishing until he was in his forties, he won literary fame in Europe and Latin America. —Valerie Sayers, Commonweal, 13 July 2007 This is an audacious claim, and Kramer anticipates, even encourages, the controversy it might provoke. —Gary Greenberg, Harper's, August 2005 … Morgan Pressel, the top-ranked female amateur in the country, has charted a less audacious course. A 17-year-old scrapper who gained prominence by tying for second at the U.S. Women's Open in June, Pressel is satisfied with taking on and whipping her own kind. —E. M. Swift, Sports Illustrated, 8 Aug. 2005 … he owns and operates a seductively spacious jazz club. But that's his day job, his cover. He executes his audacious midnight burglaries outside of the city, working solo, mapping out every detail so that nothing can go wrong, then returning like a phantom. —Owen Gliberman, Entertainment Weekly, 20 July 2001 They have audacious plans for the new school. This is her most audacious film so far. She made an audacious decision to quit her job.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Liverpool appear set to make an audacious bid of €65m for AS Roma's Alisson as Jurgen Klopp looks to sort his goalkeeping situation once and for all. SI.com, "Liverpool Attempt to Beat Rivals to Brazilian International's Signing With €65m Offer," 12 July 2018 Fast forward to Friday: Sanchez is set to become the leader of the eurozone's fourth leading economy after completing an audacious bid to oust conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from power in a no-confidence vote. Fox News, "Spain finds its comeback kid in new leader Pedro Sanchez," 1 June 2018 Fast forward to Friday: Sanchez is set to become the leader of the eurozone's fourth leading economy after completing an audacious bid to oust conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from power in a no-confidence vote. Joseph Wilson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spain's new leader Pedro Sanchez promises an end to corruption," 1 June 2018 Fast forward to Friday: Sanchez is set to become the leader of the eurozone’s fourth leading economy after completing an audacious bid to oust conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from power in a no-confidence vote. Washington Post, "Spain finds its comeback kid in new leader Pedro Sanchez," 1 June 2018 Cole is an audacious young African-American director, much inclined to throw rocks at the theatrical establishment. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "11 recommended shows to see right now," 12 July 2018 An audacious idea to build a second sign on the opposite side of the mountain was ultimately shot down. Ryan Faughnder, latimes.com, "Warner Bros. wants to build a $100-million aerial tramway to the Hollywood sign," 10 July 2018 When the university launched a capital campaign in 2011 with the goal of raising $6 billion, it was seen as an audacious move, if not outright hubris. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "Can USC Survive Scandal and Shed Its Spoiled-Kid Reputation Once and For All?," 10 July 2018 Conversations with MacAskill often turn to radical utilitarianism and audacious plans to save the world. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Is Colonizing Mars the Most Important Project in Human History?," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'audacious.' 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 audacious

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for audacious

Middle French audacieux, from audace boldness, from Latin audacia, from audac-, audax bold, from audēre to dare, from avidus eager — more at avid

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Dictionary Entries near audacious

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audace

audacious

audacity

audad

Audaean

Statistics for audacious

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for audacious

The first known use of audacious was in 1550

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More Definitions for audacious

audacious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of audacious

: very confident and daring : very bold and surprising or shocking

audacious

adjective
au·da·cious | \ ȯ-ˈdā-shəs \

Kids Definition of audacious

1 : very bold and daring : fearless an audacious scheme

2 : disrespectful of authority : insolent an audacious radio personality

Other words from audacious

audaciously adverb

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Comments on audacious

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