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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for affronting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Allah preserve us from affronting him,” whispered the caliph.

    The Pacha of Many Tales Frederick Marryat
  • I could not, were my very life at stake, think of affronting them by not doffing my hat.

    The Disowned, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • And turned off for pinching the duenna, or affronting my lady's waiting-woman?

    The Abbot Sir Walter Scott
  • As if he felt himself full to the throat with affronting sentiments.

    Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens
  • Somehow the old unbridled passions rose up within me and I succeeded in affronting Edmée with my fierce speech.

  • She amazed him, sitting there in the purple stockings and the affronting gown, and he admired.

    The Pretty Lady

    Arnold E. Bennett
  • But in his eagerness to secure the alliance of Florence, he committed the fatal mistake of affronting the Venetians.

  • Mrs Moodie tried every means of affronting her, but long without success.

  • He paused for a moment to look out; his heart beat uncomfortably, as though he were affronting some unknown danger.

    Crome Yellow Aldous Huxley
British Dictionary definitions for affronting


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 affronting



1590s, from affront (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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