chutz·​pah ˈhu̇t-spə How to pronounce chutzpah (audio) ˈḵu̇t- How to pronounce chutzpah (audio)
variants or less commonly chutzpa or hutzpah or hutzpa
: supreme self-confidence : nerve, gall
It took a lot of chutzpah to stand up to him the way she did.
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 China and Russia are in this game together: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had the chutzpah to call for a cease-fire in Gaza in discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, while the Russian army was grinding up civilians in Ukraine. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 4 Nov. 2023 The same chutzpah soon appeared online—laughing at the suffering of taming the wild, as best any hiker can. Grayson Haver Currin, Outside Online, 13 Apr. 2023 Some Yiddish vocabulary is already ingrained in that broader culture — words such as chutzpah (meaning gall), mensch (a good, decent person) and oy (often conveying exasperation). Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2023 But nine years into his NFL career, Bridgewater has proven to be an experienced hand capable of winning games and the Lions have the cap room and chutzpah to add him to their roster. Dave Birkett, The Courier-Journal, 26 July 2023 Which organizations or hospitals will have the chutzpah to go forward and try to get this thing into practice? IEEE Spectrum, 7 July 2023 While not all of us can pull off clashing patterns with the same chutzpah as SJP/Carrie, a bold mix-and-match spirit is certainly in the air. André-Naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 22 June 2023 Even outside of his job and his chutzpah in traffic court, Kriv’s history is notable. Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica, 3 June 2023 The problem has been that, while the creativity and chutzpah of these distilleries is admirable and good for the industry overall, sometimes the actual liquid just doesn’t stand up to a tried and true six-year-old Kentucky bourbon. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chutzpah.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Yiddish khutspe, from Late Hebrew ḥuṣpāh

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chutzpah was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near chutzpah

Cite this Entry

“Chutzpah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also chutzpa or hutzpah or hutzpa
ˈhu̇t-spə How to pronounce chutzpah (audio)

Yiddish; of Hebrew origin

More from Merriam-Webster on chutzpah

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