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 Even more disappointing was when Mayor Carter had the audacity to threaten citizens with higher property taxes when the people won the right to have the trash ordinance placed on the ballot. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: The biggest myth about the Bill of Rights," 14 Nov. 2019 This is the fight that divides her from Pantalaimon: The adult Lyra has lost her former optimism and audacity, and Pan calls out the change in her. Ellen Morton, Washington Post, "Philip Pullman returns to the world of ‘His Dark Materials’ with ‘The Secret Commonwealth’," 21 Oct. 2019 As Quartz’s Alison Griswold wrote when Neumann was pushed out from WeWork following his company’s disastrous attempt at an IPO, the audacity, charisma, and boldness that made Neumann so successful also proved to be his downfall. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why CEO turnover in 2019 is so damn high," 14 Oct. 2019 No, Trump is driven by vindictive mean-spirited attacks on regulations introduced by a dark-skinned man who had the audacity to become president. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Trump is gutting the work of Obama, a black man who dared be president," 13 Sep. 2019 Even now, when black women have the audacity to tell someone about their abuse, they are often ignored. Crystal D. Carter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Half of black girls report being sexually coerced. There are ways we can help protect them.," 16 Aug. 2019 The attendance may not have rivaled that of the 1969 Woodstock festival, but the first Wigstock celebration, in 1984, made up for the sparse crowd with its spontaneity, audacity, and exuberance. Peter Keough,, "Doc Talk: Endless love, film school confidential, kind of a drag," 3 July 2019 However dark the crime, the confession becomes, thanks to Joyce Carol Oates’s audacity, a satire of middle-class life at midcentury. Steve Fraser, WSJ, "Five Best: Steve Fraser on Social Class," 21 June 2019 Ritesh is gifted with not just an audacity to dream but comes with great ability to chase that dream and drive people to pursue excellence. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "What working at a six-year-old startup with a 25-year-old founder is like for a man in his 40s," 18 Aug. 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

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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Comments on audacity

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