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

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 At the heart of the story is Rosa Rendón, a woman whose intrepidity reminds me that women of the past often possessed remarkable audacity. The Week Staff, The Week, 25 Apr. 2022 That snub felt all the more galling after winner Scott Frank, who directed The Queen’s Gambit, delivered a rambling, dull acceptance speech while seeming peeved every time the music had the audacity to try to stop him from speaking. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 20 Sep. 2021 With breathtaking audacity Yanagihara rewrites America, the Civil War having produced, in this account, not a united country but a conglomeration of territories, including one called the Free States. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 Her spectral presence conjures the island’s troubled history and his own family conflicts—and Yogi films the metaphysical and the practical with the same lyrical audacity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 2 Dec. 2021 The upside here is that Kardashian has ignited a passionate debate from all sides (some of the more rageful commentary is fueled by her audacity to wear Monroe’s museum-worthy delicate dress in the first place, but that’s another issue). Michelle Konstantinovsky, Glamour, 3 May 2022 The style itself is part of its political audacity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 22 Apr. 2022 Even Morant’s misses provide highlight-worthy clips because of his athleticism and the audacity of his imagination. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 West Coast IPA rose to prominence in the 1990s and captured craft beer’s audacity, courage and fighting spirit in a glass. Kevin Mcgee, Rolling Stone, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of audacity was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for audacity


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on audacity

Nglish: Translation of audacity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of audacity for Arabic Speakers


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