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 affronting

Contemporary Examples of affronting

  • Charlier said the Venetians had been nervous of affronting the artists.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Biennale Favorites

    Anthony Haden-Guest

    June 8, 2009

Historical Examples of affronting

  • “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.

British Dictionary definitions for affronting



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 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