Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From late 17th century French effronterie, from effronté (shameless, insolent), from Old French esfronté, from Vulgar Latin *exfrontātus. Compare Latin effrōns (barefaced), from the prefix ex- (from) + frōns (forehead) (English: front).


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈfɹʌntəɹi/, /ɛˈfɹʌntəɹi/


effrontery (countable and uncountable, plural effronteries)

  1. (uncountable) Insolent and shameless audacity.
    We even had the effrontery to suggest that he should leave the country.
    • 1859, The Christian Remembrancer (volumes 37-38, page 250)
      Let not the Englishman in Scotland believe that the undoffed hat, the curt reply, the apparent assumption of equality, all spring from deliberate effrontery, and are wholly beyond the reach of southern influence.
  2. (countable) An act of insolent and shameless audacity.
    Any refusal to salute the president shall be counted as an effrontery.
    • 2016, Justin O. Schmidt, The Sting of the Wild, Johns Hopkins University Press, →ISBN, p. 92
      All was going as planned until the bag hit a snag and failed to surround the entire nest. This effrontery was too much. The wasps exploded off the nest at me.


Related terms[edit]



  • 2005, Ed. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, The Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd edition revised), Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  • 1996, T.F. Hoad, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Etymology, Oxford University Press, →ISBN
  • Effrontery, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1989.