temerity

noun
te·mer·i·ty | \tə-ˈmer-ə-tē \
plural temerities

Definition of temerity 

1 : unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition : rashness, recklessness

2 : a rash or reckless act

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Choose the Right Synonym for temerity

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?

When it comes to flagrant boldness, temerity, audacity, hardihood, and effrontery have the cheek to get your meaning across. Of those synonyms, temerity (from the Latin temere, meaning "blindly" or "recklessly") suggests boldness arising from contempt of danger, while audacity implies a disregard of the restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence. Hardihood implies firmness in daring and defiance, and effrontery suggests a shameless disregard of propriety and courtesy. If you're looking for a more informal term for a brash attitude, you might consider nerve, cheek, gall, or chutzpah.

Examples of temerity in a Sentence

He defeated giant corporations—the auto industry, big pharma—back when no one else was even trying to; he had the temerity to believe that fighting for safety and quality and transparency was a quintessentially American thing to do. — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 16 Feb. 2007 A wisp of a kid (six feet, 160 pounds) with the temerity to buzz pitches up and in to Barry Bonds, Hudson has a bit of Pedro in him. ESPN, 24 July 2000 … all the while you're balancing your two prevailing interests: recording her words to later use against her—because, she, too, had the temerity to be relatively famous and attractive (with a master's from Penn)—while also, more pressingly, trying to get invited back to her apartment. — Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, 2000 He was punished for his temerity. she had the temerity to ask my boyfriend if she could go out with him should he and I ever break up
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Recent Examples on the Web

One interesting twist is liberal anger at Kennedy for having the temerity to retire shortly before his 82nd birthday after three decades on the court. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Liberal pundits rip Kennedy, demand any Trump nominee be stopped," 29 June 2018 Literally two people, who don’t even hold public office, have the temerity to be publicly angry at the Trump administration, and somehow that’s enough to merit an Emily Post course in dinner-table conversation from the fartsniffer set. Drew Magary, GQ, "This Is Why Trump Won," 14 June 2018 In case the special counsel had the temerity to press his request, Mr Trump’s lawyers raised a third spectre. The Economist, "Donald Trump’s powers are not quite as vast as his lawyers claim," 7 June 2018 But apparently the best Hollywood can do for legendary actresses who’ve had the temerity to grow older is an inane romantic comedy written at the level of a greeting card. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Stars — and audience — deserve better than ‘Book Club’," 17 May 2018 It must be hoped by the franchise and its fans that Lauer’s stuff does play at this level, because his temerity and temperament certainly do. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres rookie Eric Lauer rocked in debut," 24 Apr. 2018 The real company had the temerity to rate Tesla Motors dead last in a 2016 survey of dealership networks. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Sorry, We Do Not Employ Anyone Named Iron Man," 4 Aug. 2017 The temerity of Temer Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, put the army in charge of public safety by creating a new security ministry. The Economist, "Politics this week," 1 Mar. 2018 Who but a precocious 23-year-old would have the temerity to confront one of the twentieth century’s densest and wildest novels, impenetrable to many readers and seemingly an unfilmable text? Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, "Talk Therapy," 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'temerity.' 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 temerity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for temerity

Middle English temeryte, from Latin temeritas, from temere blindly, recklessly; akin to Old High German demar darkness, Latin tenebrae, Sanskrit tamas

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Dictionary Entries near temerity

temenos

Temer

temerarious

temerity

temescal

Temin

Temminck's stint

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Time Traveler for temerity

The first known use of temerity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for temerity

temerity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of temerity

: the quality of being confident and unafraid of danger or punishment especially in a way that seems rude or foolish

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