effrontery

[ ih-fruhn-tuh-ree ]
/ ɪˈfrʌn tə ri /

noun, plural ef·fron·ter·ies.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for effrontery

effrontery

/ (ɪˈfrʌntərɪ) /

noun plural -ies

shameless or insolent boldness; impudent presumption; audacity; temerity

Word Origin for effrontery

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

Word Origin and History for effrontery

effrontery


n.

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