au·dac·i·ty | \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē \
plural audacities

Definition of audacity 

1 : the quality or state of being audacious: such as

a : intrepid boldness knights admired for their audacity

b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints had the audacity to defy his boss

2 : an audacious act usually used in plural Her worst audacities did not seem to surprise him. —Edith Wharton

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Choose the Right Synonym for audacity

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

Examples of audacity in a Sentence

I could not believe their audacity. He had the audacity to suggest that it was all my fault.

Recent Examples on the Web

The audacity of Russia’s campaign is striking even now. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 Instead of Napoleon standing in front of the Pope to crown his own bride—itself a moment of breathtaking audacity—our eye is on Beyoncé's body dancing in front of Josephine's, her own head poised to take on the crown. Kaitlyn Greenidge, Glamour, "In the Louvre, Beyoncé Proves There's Power in Repurposing Art History," 18 June 2018 The audacity to profile and verbally assault innocent bystanders and customers in a public commercial location is a violation of our civil society.’’ Material from the Washington Post was used in this report. Aimee Ortiz,, "Aaron Schlossberg once called a Mass. native ‘an ugly [expletive] foreigner’," 18 May 2018 The only crime Henry Corbin committed, say his descendants, was having the audacity to speak to a white woman. Mark Curnutte,, "Lynched in Oxford: Descendant tries to reconcile official, family histories of 1892 killing," 30 Apr. 2018 But a lack of audacity has never been Ibrahimovic’s problem. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Debut in Los Angeles Is a Smash," 1 Apr. 2018 Unfortunately for the Lions and the rest of the NFL, the only true blueprint the Eagles can provide is one of audacity and adaptability. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Can Detroit Lions follow Eagles' blueprint and win Super Bowl?," 6 Feb. 2018 No where was the sheer audacity of this electoral shift more jaw-dropping than in Delaware County’s Fifth Congressional District. Maria Panaritis,, "'The women have arrived' with Pa. congressional primary wins, as the old boys get a wake-up call | Maria Panaritis," 16 May 2018 Sacha is a comedic genius who shocks you with his audacity, bravery and inventiveness. Hal Boedeker,, "Sacha Baron Cohen series debuts Sunday on Showtime," 9 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for audacity

Middle English audacite, from Latin audac-, audax — see audacious

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Statistics for audacity

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for audacity

The first known use of audacity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for audacity



English Language Learners Definition of audacity

: a confident and daring quality that is often seen as shocking or rude : an audacious quality


au·dac·i·ty | \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē \

Kids Definition of audacity

: a bold and daring quality that is sometimes shocking or rude She had the audacity to show up uninvited.

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