Effrontery is boldness that is both rude and intrusive.
An effrontery can also be the action or behavior that was bold, rude, and in-your-face.
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Part of speech:
Both a countable noun ("an effrontery," "two effronteries," "lots of effronteries") and an uncountable noun ("the effrontery," "such effrontery," "a display of effrontery.")
Yes, the "front" in "effrontery" is there for a good reason; it traces back to the Latin word for "brow" (forehead.) People committing effronteries get right in front of you and put their shameless boldness and unwarranted confidence right in your face--or at least it seems that way.
How to use it:
Talk about someone's effrontery, or the effrontery of someone or something, as in "Becky's effrontery" or "the effrontery of Becky's demands." You might say that someone had the effrontery to do something, as in "Steve had the effrontery to ask for a 50% discount because he had to wait in line."
You can also talk about effrontery in general, as in "Effrontery will get you nowhere with us" or "You're getting a reputation for effrontery, so cool it."
All those examples so far are for the uncountable noun. The countable noun and its plural seem less common. To use them, talk about one effrontery or multiple effronteries, as in "Take your effronteries elsewhere" or "This latest effrontery is the straw that'll break the camel's back."
Add an adjective if you like: "minor effrontery," "personal effrontery," "manipulative effronteries," even "déclassé effronteries."
I'm boggled by the sheer effrontery of people who attend a party and complain loudly about the food. They realize it's free for them, but expensive for the hosts in terms of both cost and preparation time, right?
It's silly, but sometimes I get a little miffed at the effrontery of exit pop-ups on scammy websites that I definitely didn't mean to click on. Apparently I either need to give up my email address to download their amazing ebook or miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime? No.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "effrontery" means when you can explain it without saying "audacity" or "gall."
Think of a time you were tempted to get really sassy or smart-alecky with someone, and fill in the blank: "When _____, I could have responded with effrontery, but I held my tongue."
Example: "When the cashier kept tapping her fingers, sighing, and rolling her eyes at the old couple in front of me in line, I could have responded with effrontery, but I held my tongue."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
We’re starting off with easy questions, then working our way toward some whoppers at the end of the month, all the while focusing on funny, unusual words; surprising word histories; and cool tidbits about the language.
Pastas named for everyday things is an Italian tradition. What are the names of pastas for “little tongues,” “strings,” “butterfly,” and “little worms”?
In that order: linguine, spaghetti, farfalle, and vermicelli..
Try this one today. It should feel rather difficult:
“Ultimate” can mean “last.” What does “preantepenultimate” mean?
A Point Well Made:
Confucius: “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.”
1. Some opposites of EFFRONTERY are
A. SLYNESS and CIRCUMSPECTION
B. PROPRIETY and MODESTY
C. CLARITY and DIRECTNESS
2. With unparalleled effrontery, they _____.
A. made plans without asking first
B. required that we pay for our own drinks at the dinner party
C. commanded the author to sign all their copies of her book so they could resell them
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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