au·​dac·​i·​ty | \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē How to pronounce audacity (audio) \
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 pluralHer 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 last Democratic president urged his party to embrace the audacity of hope. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Don’t Mourn. Organize.," 8 Apr. 2020 Cespedes did it only after bobbling the ball to begin with, allowing Kendrick and the Angels the audacity to test Cespedes’ arm. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, "SportsDay staffers pick the best plays they’ve ever witnessed: Game-winners, miraculous catches and rare anomalies," 4 May 2020 The company’s audacity and its young founder endeared it to SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son, who boasted last year that Oyo was growing 10 times faster than Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "Budget hotel chain Oyo already had problems in China. Then coronavirus happened," 5 Mar. 2020 Whether considered in terms of complexity or audacity, MSR will serve as a touchstone for all future major interplanetary robotic missions. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Rocks, Rockets and Robots: The Plan to Bring Mars Down to Earth," 6 Feb. 2020 Scorsese and his fans get caught up in audacity and bravado, which allows them to ignore the degradation or enjoy it with a shrug of smirky indifference. Armond White, National Review, "The Traitor Reimagines the Gangster Film and Modern Morality," 31 Jan. 2020 There’s a spirit of liberation infusing these clothes: Despite their sheer—in both senses of the word—audacity, nothing is intended to elicit a stereotypical male gaze. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "How Area, the More-Is-More Clothing Line, Is Redefining Fantasy Fashion," 12 Nov. 2019 Such audacity could backfire, no matter how cool the renderings might be. John King,, "Waterfront towers are coming to Mission Rock. They won’t look like you’d expect," 12 Oct. 2019 Afrofuturism is the audacity to imagine a thriving future for Black people, or any future. Tananarive Due, Essence, "Inside My 90-Minute Visit With Octavia Butler," 4 Oct. 2019

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

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Learn More about audacity

Time Traveler for audacity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for audacity

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for audacity


How to pronounce audacity (audio)

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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