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[ih-fruhn-tuh-ree] /ɪˈfrʌn tə ri/
noun, plural effronteries.
shameless or impudent boldness; barefaced audacity:
She had the effrontery to ask for two free samples.
an act or instance of this.
Origin of effrontery
1705-15; < French effronterie, equivalent to Old French esfront shameless (es- ex-1 + front brow; see front) + -erie -ery
1. impertinence, impudence, cheek. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for effrontery
  • The naive effrontery of this book is more pitiful than ridiculous.
  • The sheer effrontery of the thing took my breath away.
  • He has the sheer effrontery of a movie star.
  • This effrontery has become part of his prissy jerky-boy routine.
  • The lawyer's natural effrontery did not desert him.
  • Abel dealt with the innocents, among whom he lived and schemed, with a kind of gentle effrontery.
  • But not without sundry twinges of impotent rebellion against the mild effrontery of this unaccountable scrivener.
  • The obvious effrontery to the court should not go unnoticed.
British Dictionary definitions for effrontery


noun (pl) -ies
shameless or insolent boldness; impudent presumption; audacity; temerity
Word Origin
C18: from French effronterie, from Old French esfront barefaced, shameless, from Late Latin effrons, literally: putting forth one's forehead; see front
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for effrontery

1715, from French effronterie, from effronté "shameless," from Old French esfronte "shameless, brazen," probably from Late Latin effrontem (nominative effrons) "barefaced," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + frontem (nominative frons) "brow" (see front (n.)).

Latin frontus had a sense of "ability to blush," but the literal sense of effrontery often has been taken to be "putting forth the forehead." Forehead in Johnson's Dictionary (1755) has a secondary sense of "impudence; confidence; assurance; audaciousness; audacity."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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