au·​dac·​i·​ty ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē How to pronounce audacity (audio)
plural audacities
: the quality or state of being audacious: such as
: intrepid boldness
knights admired for their audacity
: bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints
had the audacity to defy his boss
: an audacious act
usually used in plural
Her worst audacities did not seem to surprise him.Edith Wharton
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 body is too intricate and individual for that: good medicine will not be able to dispense with expert audacity. Kanya Kanchana, Longreads, 21 Mar. 2024 By contrast, Do Not Expect has enough audacity and insights for a dozen movies stuffed into one. Armond White, National Review, 22 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for audacity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'audacity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English audacite, borrowed from Medieval Latin audācitāt-, audācitās, from Latin audāc-, audāx "daring, bold, excessively daring, reckless" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at audacious

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near audacity

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


au·​dac·​i·​ty ȯ-ˈdas-ət-ē How to pronounce audacity (audio)
plural audacities
: the quality or fact of being audacious

More from Merriam-Webster on audacity

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