variants: or less commonly chutzpa or or hutzpa \ ˈhu̇t-​spə , ˈḵu̇t-​, -​(ˌ)spä \

Definition of chutzpah 

: supreme self-confidence : nerve, gall It took a lot of chutzpah to stand up to him the way she did.

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Choose the Right Synonym for chutzpah

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 chutzpah in a Sentence

had the chutzpah to demand that he be treated as a special case and be given priority in settling his insurance claim

Recent Examples on the Web

From about $540 a night, Where to eat Borkonyha Wine Kitchen, in the shadow of V’s neoclassical St. Stephen’s Basilica, cross-pollinates French savoir-faire with Hungarian chutzpah, and has a Michelin star to boot. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "The Best of Budapest: A Guide for Strategic Travelers," 27 June 2018 There's a Yiddish word for what Trump is doing: chutzpah. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Time to yank Trump’s wretched name off his tower—or make him pay more taxes," 25 June 2018 But the point remains: Chastising the media for releasing classified information after releasing information that your own administration worries endangers security takes some chutzpah. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Sarah Huckabee Sanders's disingenuous defense of how the White House handles classified material," 12 Feb. 2018 In between, a Euless location officially opened Monday in the Glade Parks center -- with a little bit of chutzpah, because the new Hopdoddy is a patty's throw away from a Five Guys Burgers & Fries that's also in the center. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Looking for something to eat in Euless? There's a new burger joint in town | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 7 May 2018 Douglas’ pro-day chutzpah earned him interviews with three teams – the New England Patriots, the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens. Paul Domowitch,, "Joe Douglas, the Eagles' top scout, has climbed the ranks to become one of the NFL's top talent evaluators," 23 Apr. 2018 With breathtaking chutzpah, the Russian embassy in London castigated Britain for failing to protect Russian citizens on its soil—citing Mr Litvinenko’s death. The Economist, "Conspiracy theories from, and about, Russia," 14 Apr. 2018 Those choices have far less to do with Mokhtar or coffee or Yemen than with Eggers’s own approach to his story—his attempt to show a world of daring and enterprise, in which Americans rise from rags to riches through sheer chutzpah. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "What Dave Eggers misses in his story of a Yemeni-American man’s rise," 4 Apr. 2018 To write the above sentence as a product of suburban New Jersey takes no small amount of chutzpah. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "James O'Keefe: Meet the Man Who Makes the Fake News," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chutzpah.' 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 chutzpah

1867, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chutzpah

Yiddish khutspe, from Late Hebrew ḥuṣpāh

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Dictionary Entries near chutzpah

chuting board







Statistics for chutzpah

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chutzpah

The first known use of chutzpah was in 1867

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More Definitions for chutzpah



English Language Learners Definition of chutzpah

: personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others

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Comments on chutzpah

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


playful or foolish behavior

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