audacity

play
noun au·dac·i·ty \ ȯ-ˈda-sə-tē \

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

audacity

play
noun

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

audacity

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.


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to curse or denounce

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!