"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-fruhnt] /əˈfrʌnt/
a personally offensive act or word; deliberate act or display of disrespect; intentional slight; insult:
an affront to the king.
an offense to one's dignity or self-respect.
verb (used with object)
to offend by an open manifestation of disrespect or insolence:
His speech affronted all of us.
to make ashamed or confused; embarrass.
Archaic. to front; face; look on.
Obsolete. to meet or encounter face to face; confront.
Origin of affront
1300-50; Middle English afrounten < Middle French af(f)ronter to strike in the face < Vulgar Latin *affrontāre, derivative of Latin phrase ad frontem at or toward the forehead (as the seat of one's feelings or dignity). See ad-, front
Related forms
affrontedly, adverb
affrontedness, noun
affronter, noun
affrontingly, adverb
reaffront, noun, verb (used with object)
unaffronted, adjective
1. impertinence; contumely, scorn; indignity, abuse, outrage. See insult. 3. insult, slight, abuse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for affront
  • It is an insult to intelligence, an affront to sensibility and an abomination to the eye.
  • Fairbanks's debut poems affront readers with sordid scenarios and elliptical literary fragments.
  • Having bones and sacred objects in storage in museums is an affront to Native beliefs.
  • Our free-market driven world is an affront to our condition as thinking, feeling beings.
  • The local gentry has protested heartily against this affront to its way of life.
  • Everything is an insult to them… every action an affront.
  • Mr Köhler seemed to be offering an economic justification, an affront to their instinctive pacifism.
  • He received the affront with an engaging meekness, but pursued his journey.
  • Its time to affront this problem seriously.
  • Let's face it, he's just an affront to the entire universe at this point.
British Dictionary definitions for affront


a deliberate insult
verb (transitive)
to insult, esp openly
to offend the pride or dignity of
(obsolete) to confront defiantly
Word Origin
C14: from Old French afronter to strike in the face, from Vulgar Latin affrontāre (unattested), from the Latin phrase ad frontem to the face
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 affront

early 14c., from Old French afronter "to face, confront, to slap in the face" (13c.), from Late Latin affrontare "to strike against," from Latin ad frontem "to the face," from frons (genitive frontis) "forehead" (see front (n.)). Related: Affronted; affronting.


1590s, from affront (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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