Definition of effrontery
: shameless boldness : insolence
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Examples of effrontery in a Sentence
the little squirt had the effrontery to deny eating any cookies, even with the crumbs still on his lips
Recent Examples of effrontery from the Web
But galled by the effrontery of Venter's challenge, the Human Genome Project scientists closed ranks and ramped up their efforts quickly enough to offer a draft of the genome almost as fast as Celera's nine-month sprint.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effrontery'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
To the Romans, the shameless were "without forehead," at least figuratively. Effrontery derives from Latin effrons, a word that combines the prefix ex- (meaning "out" or "without") and "frons" (meaning "forehead" or "brow"). The Romans never used "effrons" literally to mean "without forehead," and theorists aren't in full agreement about the connection between the modern meaning of "effrontery" and the literal senses of its roots. Some explain that "frons" can also refer to the capacity for blushing, so a person without "frons" would be "unblushing" or "shameless." Others theorize that since the Romans believed that the brow was the seat of a person's modesty, being without a brow meant being "immodest," or again, "shameless."
Origin and Etymology of effrontery
French effronterie, ultimately from Medieval Latin effront-, effrons shameless, from Latin ex- + front-, frons forehead
First Known Use: 1697See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of effrontery
EFFRONTERY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of effrontery for English Language Learners
: a very confident attitude or way of behaving that is shocking or rude
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