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 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

Our tolerance for cheaters, liars, and grifters has increased, and audacity is now prized as a much as actual accomplishment. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Marathon cheater Rosie Ruiz was an anti-hero ahead of her time," 9 Aug. 2019 How does anyone have the audacity to claim their socks can be worn concern-free for days on end? Luke Winkie, Vox, "From condemning “white terrorism” to condemning video games: Republican responses to El Paso shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 And after House had the audacity to bring her suit, in 1917 the MRB&PA leader was arrested, convicted of mail fraud and jailed. Arica L. Coleman, Time, "The House Hearing on Slavery Reparations Is Part of a Long History. Here's What to Know on the Idea's Tireless Early Advocates," 18 June 2019 Lankford and Pratte, then 68, were stunned at Williams’ audacity. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "Health Insurers Make It Easy for Scammers to Steal Millions. Who Pays? You.," 19 July 2019 More than that, the players’ audacity coupled with their ability to back it up thrills, divides and fascinates us. Jerry Brewer, The Denver Post, "Brewer: U.S. women’s soccer team is just one part of a larger wave of female activism," 4 July 2019 More than that, the players' audacity coupled with their ability to back it up thrills, divides and fascinates us., "The U.S. soccer team is just one part of a larger wave of female activism," 3 July 2019 The same audacity that prompted Peter Blake to run for Laguna Beach City Council last year inspired him to open an art gallery 25 years ago — with no money, no credit and no experience in the art world. Faith E. Pinho,, "‘A dose of naive and maybe an overdose of confidence’: Peter Blake Gallery celebrates 25 years in Laguna Beach," 29 June 2019 Those experiences led to her love of micro-seasonal ingredients and the refreshing audacity to open a seafood restaurant, Contramar, in Mexico City 20 years ago, when virtually none existed. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Best cookbook: Gabriela Camara’s “My Mexico City Kitchen”," 22 June 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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Statistics for audacity

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on audacity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with audacity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for audacity

Spanish Central: Translation of audacity

Nglish: Translation of audacity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of audacity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on audacity

What made you want to look up audacity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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