noun pro·ter·vi·ty \prəˈtərvətē\

Definition of protervity



  1. 1 :  a petulant manner :  peevishness

  2. 2 :  insolent sauciness

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of protervity

Latin protervitas, from protervus forward, bold, impudent, flighty (probably alteration of protervus, from pro- forward + -ptervus —akin to Greek petesthai to fly) + -itas -ity — more at pro-, feather

Seen and Heard

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


a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!