Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
July 8th, 2015
Episode 250 of 830 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 08, 2015 is: temerity \tuh-MAIR-uh-tee\ noun 1 : unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition : rashness, recklessness 2 : a rash or reckless act Examples: The line between boldness and temerity is sometimes only evident after the consequences have become clear. "Amaro now has been relegated to saying he's sorry for his comments. Yeah, I'd say so. You've single-handedly destroyed a baseball franchise that had a five-year stretch of baseball dominance and you have the temerity to criticize fans?" Nick Kayal, Philly.com, May 18, 2015 Did you know? When it comes to flagrant boldness, temerity, audacity, hardihood, and effrontery have the cheek to get your meaning across. Of those synonyms, temerity (from the Latin temere, meaning "blindly" or "recklessly") suggests boldness arising from contempt of danger, while audacity implies a disregard of the restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence. Hardihood implies firmness in daring and defiance, and effrontery suggests a shameless disregard of propriety and courtesy. If you're looking for a more informal term for a brash attitude, you might consider nerve, cheek, gall, or chutzpah.