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 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 But its clarity and simplicity—and the outrageous, nearly humorous audacity with which its brisk mysteries conjure wide-ranging, complex, and turbulent stories—makes it among Hong’s most compulsively rewatchable films. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 18 Jan. 2022 The cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity, and the gumption. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 25 Mar. 2021 The 22-year arc of Mr. Putin’s exercise of power is in many ways a study of growing audacity. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 But for me, the audacity to publish such a fantastical novel in a time ripe with toxic female convention is awe-inspiring even today. Expert Panel, Forbes, 17 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

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Audacity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 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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