temerity

temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall are comparable when they mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness (as in speech, behavior, or action). Temerity usually implies contempt of danger and consequent rashness; often it suggests, especially when a proposal or project is under discussion, a failure to estimate one's chances of success
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impetuously brushed aside the legalistic twaddle of the lawyers . . . and they frowned on such temerityBowers

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tenth-rate critics and compilers, for whom any violent shock to the public taste would be a temerity not to be risked— Arnold

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Audacity implies either a bold and open disregard of the restraints imposed by prudence, convention, decorum, or authority or undue presumption in making advances
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he had committed the supreme audacity of looking into her soul— Sackville-West

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the moral audacity, the sense of spiritual freedom, that one gets froi.i certain scenes in the Gospels— Edmund Wilson

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Hardihood stresses firmness of purpose and often additionally implies considered defiance (as of conventions or decorum). It may be used without depreciative intent, but it is frequently employed as a term of contempt almost equivalent to insolence or impudence
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no historian or astronomer will have the hardihood to maintain that he commands this God's-eye view— Toynbee

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the reviewers . . . were staggered by my hardihood in offering a woman of forty as a subject of serious interest to the public— Bennett

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Effrontery is definitely derogatory; it is used in place of any of the three preceding words when one wishes to impute flagrant disregard of the laws of courtesy, propriety, or fair dealing or an arrogant assumption of a privilege
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had the damnable effrontery to tell me my father's delay was occasioned . . . by his addiction to immoral practices— Cheever

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she had won her way to success by strength of will and hardness of heart, and a kind of haughty effronteryWharton

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Nerve, cheek, and gall are close to effrontery, nerve, however, often carrying a strong suggestion of hardihood, cheek of impudent self-assurance, and gall of outrageous insolence
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had the ghastly nerve to tell you . . . that you were being vulgar— Wouk

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the cheek of him . . . imagine a miserable-looking leprechaun like Pat Dolan to be having notions of a fine girl like Maria— Laverty

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the small stockholder who . . . has the gall to ask questions about the management— Cohn

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Analogous words: rashness, recklessness, foolhardiness, daring, ven- turesomeness (see corresponding adjectives at ADVENTUROUS): precipitateness, impetuosity, abruptness (see corresponding adjectives at PRECIPITATE): impertinence, intrusiveness, officiousness (see corresponding adjectives at IMPERTINENT)
Antonyms: caution

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Temerity — Te*mer i*ty, n. [L. temeritas, from temere by chance, rashly; perhaps akin to Skr. tamas darkness: cf. F. t[ e]m[ e]rit[ e].] Unreasonable contempt of danger; extreme venturesomeness; rashness; as, the temerity of a commander in war. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • temerity — [tə mer′ə tē] n. [ME temeryte < L temeritas < temere, rashly, blindly < IE base * tem , dark > OS thimm, dark, L tenebrae, darkness] foolish or rash boldness; foolhardiness; recklessness SYN. TEMERITY refers to a rashness or foolish… …   English World dictionary

  • temerity — I noun audacity, boldness, carelessness, daring, effrontery, fool hardiness, foolishness, gall, hastiness, heedlessness, impetuosity, improvidence, imprudence, impudence, incautiousness, inconsiderateness, indiscretion, injudiciousness, nerve,… …   Law dictionary

  • temerity — early 15c., from M.Fr. témérité (15c.), from L. temeritatem (nom. temeritas) blind chance, accident, rashness, from temere by chance, blindly, casually, rashly, related to tenebrae darkness, from PIE root *temes dark (Cf. Skt. tamas darkness,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • temerity — [n] nerve, audacity assurance, boldness, brass*, carelessness, daring, effrontery, foolhardiness, forwardness, gall, hardihood, hastiness, heedlessness, impertinence, impetuosity, imprudence, impudence, impulsiveness, indiscretion, intrepidity,… …   New thesaurus

  • temerity — ► NOUN ▪ excessive confidence or boldness. ORIGIN Latin temeritas, from temere rashly …   English terms dictionary

  • temerity — noun (plural ties) Etymology: Middle English temeryte, from Latin temeritas, from temere blindly, recklessly; akin to Old High German demar darkness, Latin tenebrae, Sanskrit tamas Date: 15th century 1. unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • temerity — n. the temerity to + inf. (he had the temerity to file a grievance) * * * [tɪ merɪtɪ] the temerity to + inf. (he had the temerity to file a grievance) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • temerity — noun I doubt they ll have the temerity to print these accusations Syn: audacity, nerve, effrontery, impudence, impertinence, cheek, gall, presumption; daring; informal face, front, neck, chutzpah •• temerity, audacity, effrontery, foolhardiness,… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • temerity — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. rashness, boldness, audacity, recklessness, daring, nerve, gall, brass (sl.), cheek (sl.). II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. audacity, effrontery, boldness, hardihood, rashness, presumption, overconfidence,… …   English dictionary for students


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