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  1. reckless boldness; rashness.
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Origin of temerity

1400–50; late Middle English temeryte < Latin temeritās hap, chance, rashness, equivalent to temer(e) by chance, rashly + -itās -ity


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for temerity


  1. rashness or boldness
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Derived Formstemerarious (ˌtɛməˈrɛərɪəs), adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin temeritās accident, from temere at random
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 temerity


early 15c., from Middle French témérité (15c.), from Latin temeritatem (nominative temeritas) "blind chance, accident, rashness," from temere "by chance, blindly, casually, rashly," related to tenebrae "darkness," from PIE root *temes- "dark" (cf. Sanskrit tamas- "darkness," tamsrah "dark;" Avestan temah "darkness;" Lithuanian tamsa "darkness," tamsus "dark;" Old Church Slavonic tima "darkness;" Old High German dinstar "dark;" Old Irish temel "darkness").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper