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 formsaf·front·ed·ly, adverbaf·front·ed·ness, nounaf·front·er, nounaf·front·ing·ly, adverbre·af·front, noun, verb (used with object)un·af·front·ed, adjective

Synonyms for affront

1. impertinence; contumely, scorn; indignity, abuse, outrage. See insult. 3. insult, slight, abuse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for affront

Contemporary Examples of affront

Historical Examples of affront

  • It would be an affront to your own judgment, if you did not: For do you not ask my advice?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I knocked him down, telling him that it was he that was the savage to affront a lady.

  • Your coming here is an affront, an impertinence, an audacity.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • If he did not kiss the lilac he was sure to suffer an affront.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The young lady would not affront him by refusing to take some syrup.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for affront



a deliberate insult

verb (tr)

to insult, esp openly
to offend the pride or dignity of
obsolete to confront defiantly

Word Origin for affront

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

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