audacity

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From late Middle English audacite, from Medieval Latin audacitas, from Latin audax (bold), from audeō (I am bold, I dare).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) enPR: ô-dăʹsĭti, IPA(key): /ɔːˈdæsɪti/
  • (US) enPR: ô-dăʹsĭti, IPA(key): /ɔˈdæsɪti/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

audacity (countable and uncountable, plural audacities)

  1. Insolent boldness, especially when imprudent or unconventional.
    Synonyms: audaciousness, chutzpah, outdaciousness, temerity
    The brash private had the audacity to criticize the general.
    Somebody never pays his loans, yet he has the audacity to ask the bank for money.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XVIII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      “Oh?” she said. “So you have decided to revise my guest list for me? You have the nerve, the – the –” I saw she needed helping out. “Audacity,” I said, throwing her the line. “The audacity to dictate to me who I shall have in my house.” It should have been “whom”, but I let it go. “You have the –” “Crust.” “– the immortal rind,” she amended, and I had to admit it was stronger, “to tell me whom” – she got it right that time – “I may entertain at Brinkley Court and who” – wrong again – “I may not.”
  2. Fearlessness, intrepidity or daring, especially with confident disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.

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