AskDefine | Define temerity

Dictionary Definition

temerity n : fearless daring [syn: audacity, audaciousness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • italbrac RP /tɪˈmɛrəti/|/tɛˈmɛrəti/
  • italbrac US /təˈmɛrəti/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛrəti


  1. In the context of "not countable": Reckless boldness; foolish bravery.
    • 1569, Thomas Pearson, trans., "The Second Paradox," in The booke of Marcus Tullius Cicero entituled Paradoxa Stoicorum, T. Marshe (London),
      Neyther the spightfull temerity and rashnes of variable fortune, nor the envious hart burning and in iurious hatred of mine enemies shold be able once to damnify me.
    • 1837, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, ch. 17,
      One day when he knew old Lobbs was out, Nathaniel Pipkin had the temerity to kiss his hand to Maria Lobbs.
    • 1913, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Return of Tarzan, ch. 21,
      I am surprised that you, sir, a man of letters yourself, should have the temerity so to interrupt the progress of science.
  2. An act or case of reckless boldness.
    • 1910, Edith Wharton, "The Blond Beast," Scribner's Magazine, vol. 48 (Sept),
      Draper, dear lad, had the illusion of an "intellectual sympathy" between them.... Draper's temerities would always be of that kind.
  3. In the context of "not countable": Effrontery; impudence.
    • 1820, James Fennimore Cooper, Precaution, ch. 30,
      He had very nearly been guilty of the temerity of arrogating to himself another title in the presence of those he most respected.


reckless boldness


  • "temerity" in Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation.
  • "temerity" in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus © Wordsmyth 2002.
  • "temerity" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • "temerity" in Compact Oxford English Dictionary, © Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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