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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for effrontery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You know that Milbrey girl must get her effrontery direct from where they make it.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I could not but reflect how shocked our King would be to learn of this effrontery.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Will you have the effrontery to tell me that is the coast of Curacao?

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • He stumbled away to wash his hands, utterly crushed by her effrontery.

  • He stared at me a moment, as if my effrontery astonished him.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • The hunting of the one is carried on with self-restraint, of the others with effrontery.

    The Sportsman Xenophon
  • Even Ina Vandeman's effrontery wouldn't carry her to a finish on that.

  • There was a dash of heroism in their effrontery that pleased her.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • The odious woman had the effrontery to tell us so to our faces.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
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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