audacious

adjective
au·​da·​cious | \ ȯ-ˈdā-shəs How to pronounce audacious (audio) \

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

Finally, because the Mothership’s hardware is so audacious, Asus uses two power bricks to run it. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "No, really: Asus' crazy ROG Mothership is like a Surface Pro for gaming," 6 Jan. 2019 Together, these transactions were the culmination of perhaps the most audacious and far-reaching conspiracies in U.S. political history. Andrew Coan, WSJ, "Why Robert Mueller’s Predecessors Usually Didn’t Prevail," 25 Jan. 2019 SpaceX is known for thinking big, and its Big Falcon Rocket might be the biggest of its most-audacious plans. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Is Fashioning a Miniature Big Falcon Rocket Out of a Falcon 9," 8 Nov. 2018 Still, that Epic is making such an audacious move with the Android release of Fortnite, which will arguably be its most popular platform, is an eye-popping turn of events for an already unprecedented gaming narrative. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite for Android will ditch Google Play Store for Epic’s website," 3 Aug. 2018 Eriksen's audacious claim to be on a par with Modrić is at least partly supported by statistics. SI.com, "Christian Eriksen Makes Bold Claim About Luka Modrić Ahead of Denmark's World Cup Clash With Croatia," 29 June 2018 The extraordinary and thrilling true story of four friends living an ordinary existence who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in US history. San Francisco Chronicle, "'American Animals’," 11 May 2018 Then came an even more audacious idea—cow's milk, which was thought to be superior to actual blood. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Different Blood Types Mean (And How To Find Out Yours)," 28 Dec. 2018 Boateng and Omar Mascarell tried their luck with audacious efforts from distance but Bayern Munich were resilient in their defending, with the introduction of Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman offering Frankfurt with an entirely new threat. SI.com, "Frankfurt Upsets Bayern Munich to Win German Cup Final," 19 May 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

borrowed from Middle French audacieux, from audace "daring, recklessness" (borrowed from Latin audācia, from audāc-, audāx "daring, bold, excessively daring, reckless" + -ia -ia entry 1) + -ieux -ious); audāx from audēre "to intend, dare, venture" (verbal derivative of avidus "ardent, eager, greedy") + -āc-, deverbal suffix denoting habitual or successful performance (probably going back to Indo-European *-eh2, noun ending + *-k-, suffixal formative) — more at avid

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Audaean

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce audacious (audio) \

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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