chutz·​pah | \ ˈhu̇t-spə How to pronounce chutzpah (audio) , ˈḵu̇t- How to pronounce chutzpah (audio) , -(ˌ)spä \
variants: or less commonly chutzpa or or hutzpa

Definition of chutzpah

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Then again, any scientist who works on the origin of our universe—and hundreds do worldwide—must possess a certain amount of chutzpah. Alan Lightman, The Atlantic, "‘It Seems That I Know How the Universe Originated’," 8 Feb. 2021 The fearless Wong has a sense of chutzpah that's more charming than off-putting. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "Think you're busy? Minnesota guitarist Cory Wong just released his 12th album in 13 months," 4 Feb. 2021 Stately reverence had given way to inclusive chutzpah. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Technicolor Normalcy of Biden’s Inauguration," 21 Jan. 2021 Many of them would be eliminated if conference commissioners and college presidents had the chutzpah to tell the Rose Bowl to take its Jan. 1 kickoff time and its perfect sunset and shove it. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is right. It's time for college football to stop worshiping the Rose Bowl.," 18 Dec. 2020 Relationships and authenticity are a big theme in the book, made even more powerful when combined with grit and chutzpah. Jessica Matlin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beauty Industry Legend Leonard Lauder Opens Up About His Mother Esteé in New Memoir," 16 Nov. 2020 It’s gripping at every turn, but reading about him left me torn: I was put off by his arrogance but pulled in by the sheer chutzpah of the effort. Eva Holland, Outside Online, "Two Books Show the Good and Bad of Everest Obsession," 13 Nov. 2020 But few managers match Cash's ability to push the right buttons – or his chutzpah to defend the moves that go sideways. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Rays-Dodgers World Series: Preview, schedule and why L.A. holds a slight edge," 20 Oct. 2020 And if the rigor and chutzpah of that presentation is the extension of a lifetime of maintaining rigid poise in the face of horrific circumstances, that is impressive fortitude. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Mariah Carey, Elusive No More," 4 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of chutzpah

1867, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chutzpah

Yiddish khutspe, from Late Hebrew ḥuṣpāh

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chutzpah

Time Traveler for chutzpah

Time Traveler

The first known use of chutzpah was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chutzpah

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chutzpah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chutzpah



English Language Learners Definition of chutzpah

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

More from Merriam-Webster on chutzpah

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chutzpah

Nglish: Translation of chutzpah for Spanish Speakers

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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