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 There is the energy (and the audacity) of a tulip defying gravity to shoot up out of the earth. Dawn Davis, Bon Appétit, "I'm Feeling Energized," 29 Apr. 2021 Originally billed as guest stars (the audacity!), Bilson and Clarke soon became leading actresses on the show. Olivia-anne Cleary, Vulture, "Seth and Summer’s Breakups and Makeups, Ranked," 27 Apr. 2021 Other critics have found the film’s audacity charming. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "How to Watch 'Promising Young Woman,' the Oscar-Nominated Revenge Thriller," 25 Apr. 2021 Hence, the beauty contest fervor is understandable and warrants praise for effort, but the jury is still out as to genuine intent, ambition, audacity, and impact. Frank Van Gansbeke, Forbes, "Planetary Emergency, Central Banks And The Financial System (1/2)," 17 Apr. 2021 Security analysts describe the attack on Palma as a game-changer in its audacity. Tim Lister And Vasco Cotovio, CNN, "The brutal attacks in Mozambique are a 'game-changer' and imperil a whole country's financial future," 30 Mar. 2021 Rodriguez, with the audacity of your average man who's down bad, even tagged the singer herself. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Newly Single Alex Rodriguez Posts an Ode to Jennifer Lopez on His Instagram Story," 15 Apr. 2021 In a sport like baseball, one that is trying to veer away from stoicism, and instead, seep into the personalities of its players, Green understood that the audacity would serve a purpose., "Red Sox unveil yellow jerseys as part of ‘City Connect’ venture with Nike," 6 Apr. 2021 For those with the audacity to swipe while awaiting their shots, well, good luck to you. Washington Post, "We’re doing shots! Vaccinated or not, America wants to party again.," 29 Mar. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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