or chutz·pah, hutz·pa, hutz·pah

[ hoo t-spuh, khoo t- ]
/ ˈhʊt spə, ˈxʊt- /

noun Slang.

unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
audacity; nerve.

Origin of chutzpa

1890–95; < Yiddish khutspa < Aramaic ḥūṣpā Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chutzpah

British Dictionary definitions for chutzpah



/ (ˈxʊtspə) /


informal shameless audacity; impudence

Word Origin for chutzpah

C20: from Yiddish
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 chutzpah



also hutzpah, 1892, from Yiddish khutspe "impudence, gall." from Hebrew hutspah. The classic definition is that given by Leo Rosten: "that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for chutzpah


[ (khoot-spuh, hoot-spuh) ]

Yiddish term for courage bordering on arrogance, roughly equivalent to “nerve” (in the slang sense): “It took a lot of chutzpah to make such a controversial statement.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.