noun au·dac·i·ty \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē \
Updated on: 2 Feb 2018

Definition of audacity

plural audacities
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

Examples of audacity in a Sentence

  1. I could not believe their audacity.

  2. He had the audacity to suggest that it was all my fault.

Recent Examples of audacity from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of audacity

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

AUDACITY Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of audacity for English Language Learners

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

AUDACITY Defined for Kids


noun au·dac·i·ty \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē \

Definition of audacity for Students

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

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