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English citations of effrontery

Noun: insolent and shameless audacity[edit]

1844 1891 1921 1973 2007
ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1844Edgar Allan Poe, The Spectacles
    Had a thunderbolt fallen at my feet I could not have been more thoroughly astounded—astounded only—not offended or disgusted in the slightest degree; although an action so bold in any other woman would have been likely to offend or disgust. But the whole thing was done with so much quietude—so much nonchalance—so much repose—with so evident an air of the highest breeding, in short—that nothing of mere effrontery was perceptible, and my sole sentiments were those of admiration and surprise.
  • 1891Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, ch. 58
    The caretaker was so struck with their innocent appearance, and with the elegance of Tess's gown hanging across a chair, her silk stockings beside it, the pretty parasol, and the other habits in which she had arrived because she had none else, that her first indignation at the effrontery of tramps and vagabonds gave way to a momentary sentimentality over this genteel elopement, as it seemed.
  • 1921Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche, ch. 6
    M. de Lesdiguieres exploded yet again. "Death of my life!" he cried. "Have you the effrontery to suggest that M. de La Tour d'Azyr should be hanged? Have you?"
  • 1973Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
    The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is his pleasure in his own skill. He loves to do what he does well and, having done it well, he loves to do it better. You see it in his science. You see it in the magnificence with which he carves and builds, the loving care, the gaiety, the effrontery.

Noun: an act of insolent and shameless audacity [edit]

1715 1988
ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1715Myles Davies, Athenæ Britannicæ
    By Printing those Orthodox Letters he gain'd the Point of making his own Effrontaries to sell the better.
  • 1988Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah, ch. 6
    Her manner with His Excellency was becoming outrageously familiar and domineering. She would occasionally leave him hanging on a word she had just spoken while she turned to fling another at Major Ossai whom she addressed now only as Johnson. And wonder of wonders she even referred to the Chief of Staff, General Lango, as Ahmed on one occasion. And for these effronteries she got nothing but grins of satisfaction from the gentlemen in question. Unbelievable!