Word of the DayFriday, April 14, 2000
\tuh-MER-uh-tee\ , noun;
Unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger; rashness.
The elaborate caution with which the British commander now proceeded stands out in striking contrast with the temerity of his advance upon Bunker Hill in the preceding year.
-- John Fiske, "Washington's Great Campaign of 1776", The Atlantic, January 1889
When English merchants had the temerity to set up a trading post or 'factory' -- junior merchants were known as factors -- the Dutchmen defended their monopoly by massacring them.
-- Anthony Read and David Fisher, The Proudest Day
Drivers with the temerity to accelerate out of turns are likely to encounter torque steer, an unsettling glitch in control as the engine fights to take charge of the steering.
-- Peter Passell, "Mitsubishi Diamante: Back From Down Under", New York Times, February 23, 1997
Throughout the anti-trust trial its executives treated the courts and the US government with sneering contempt, coupled with a ratty annoyance that any public authority should have the temerity to interfere in its business.
-- John Naughton, "Gates must not win at monopoly", The Observer, October 28, 2001
Temerity comes from Latin temeritas, from temere, blindly, rashly.
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