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

His style has evolved a ton over his eight years in the NBA, but there's been evidence of audacity from the start. Devin Gordon, GQ, "James Harden Isn't Playing Around," 12 Apr. 2018 And yet, Trump has set about expanding the powers of his office with a shameless audacity that his predecessor couldn’t match – but that his successor just might. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "A Progressive President Could Accomplish a Lot By Following Trump’s Example," 3 June 2018 This theatrical conceit frames the show marvelously, informing every aspect of it, from the star turn moments for each performer, the crisp production numbers, the colorful costumes and the sheer audacity of Abagnale's exploits. Theodore P. Mahne,, "JPAS premieres 'Catch Me If You Can,' a criminally enjoyable hit," 17 Apr. 2018 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

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

11 Oct 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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