effrontery

noun
ef·​fron·​tery | \i-ˈfrən-tə-rē, e-\
plural effronteries

Definition of effrontery 

: shameless boldness : insolence

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Choose the Right Synonym for effrontery

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

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."

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 on the Web

What wrapped it all together was the insistence that Obama’s effrontery in bypassing Congress was the primary issue. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Immigration Plan Is Obamacare Repeal All Over," 5 Sep. 2017 Others simply denounced Schutz for the effrontery of addressing the subject of black trauma. Richard Cohen, The Mercury News, "Cohen: In praise of cultural appropriation," 5 June 2017 Further, older workers, accustomed to the parental role, may reflexively offer advice to younger bosses who chafe at the effrontery. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, "When the Boss Is Half Your Age," 17 Mar. 2017 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. James Shreeve, WIRED, "Craig Venter’s Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species," 1 Aug. 2004

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.

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First Known Use of effrontery

1697, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for effrontery

French effronterie, ultimately from Medieval Latin effront-, effrons shameless, from Latin ex- + front-, frons forehead

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Dictionary Entries near effrontery

effortful

effortless

effraction

effrontery

effs

effulge

effulgence

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Time Traveler for effrontery

The first known use of effrontery was in 1697

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More Definitions for effrontery

effrontery

noun

English Language Learners Definition of effrontery

: a very confident attitude or way of behaving that is shocking or rude

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More from Merriam-Webster on effrontery

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Spanish Central: Translation of effrontery

Nglish: Translation of effrontery for Spanish Speakers

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