The Meaning of Audacity: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of audacity? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word audacity, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word audacity mean?

According to sources like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word audacity is a noun that refers to courage, shamelessness, or a brazen boldness. This word often has a negative connotation. Audacity can refer to the insolent heedlessness of restraints or personal safety, or an arrogant disregard for restrictions, prudence, propriety, or conventional thought. The plural of audacity is audacities in which the suffix ity is replaced with ies, the word audacity is four syllables – au-da-ci-ty, and the pronunciation of audacity is ɔˈdæsɪti.

Many other languages also contain words that mean audacity. You may notice that some of these words look quite similar to one another. This is likely because they share a common origin. Often, cognates, which are words and phrases that look, sound and mean similar things across languages, are formed when two words have a shared ancestral language such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations of audacity is provided by Word Sense but you could also find translations of audacity in something like a Spanish Dictionary, French electronic resource or German Dictionary. 

  •  Spanish: audacia‎ (fem.)
  •  French: audace‎ (fem.), toupet‎ (masc.), culot‎ (masc.) (familiar)
  •  Hebrew: עזות מצח‎
  •  Yiddish: חוצפּה‎ (khutspe)
  •  Ido: audaco‎
  •  Turkish: cesaret‎, cesurluk‎, cürret‎, küstahlık‎, korkusuzluk‎
  •  Greek: θράσος‎ (neut.)
  •  Czech: smělost‎ (fem.), troufalost‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: fräckhet‎ (common)
  •  Finnish: uhkarohkeus‎, julkeus‎
  •  Russian: сме́лость‎ (fem.), де́рзость‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: vakmerőség‎
  •  Polish: śmiałość‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Kühnheit‎ (fem.), Verwegenheit‎ (fem.), Frechheit‎ (fem.)
  •  Bulgarian: дързост‎
  •  Portuguese: audácia‎

What is the origin of the word audacity?

According to Etymonline, the word audacity has been used since the early c15. This word comes from the Medieval Latin audacitas/Medieval Latin audācitāt, the Latin audācitās, from Latin audāc/audāx and the Latin audacis, which is the genitive of the Latin audax meaning bold, daring or rash. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for audacity?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word audacity. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you would like to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word audacity is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  overconfidence
  •  brass
  •  braveness
  •  heroic deed
  •  presumptuousness
  •  assurance
  •  balls
  •  boldness
  •  dare
  •  impudence
  •  daringness
  •  bad manners
  •  lip
  •  bravado
  •  sass
  •  brashness
  •  defiance
  •  adventurousness
  •  enterprise
  •  injudiciousness
  •  courage
  •  hardihood
  •  valiance
  •  arrogance
  •  grit
  •  heroism
  •  gumption
  •  courageousness
  •  backbone
  •  daring
  •  bumptiousness
  •  fearlessness
  •  audaciousness
  •  pertness
  •  incivility
  •  dauntlessness
  •  disrespect
  •  derring-do
  •  daredeviltry
  •  imprudence
  •  spirit
  •  sauciness
  •  adventuresomeness
  •  disrespectfulness
  •  impertinence
  •  rashness
  •  determination
  •  indiscretion
  •  fortitude
  •  guts
  •  cheek
  •  valour
  •  mettle
  •  effrontery
  •  bravura
  •  cheekiness
  •  prowess
  •  uppityness
  •  ungraciousness
  •  gallantry
  •  pushiness
  •  front
  •  hutzpa
  •  intrepidity
  •  presumption
  •  venturesomeness
  •  chutzpah
  •  brass neck
  •  foolhardiness
  •  valor
  •  spunk
  •  venturousness
  •  forwardness
  •  sauce
  •  impoliteness
  •  bravery
  •  face
  •  intrepidness
  •  chutzpa
  •  rudeness
  •  contemptuousness
  •  nerviness
  •  crust
  •  discourtesy
  •  pluck
  •  insolence
  •  cockiness
  •  recklessness
  •  familiarity
  •  brazenness
  •  sassiness
  •  gall
  •  shamelessness
  •  brassiness
  •  daredevilry
  •  immodesty
  •  temerity
  •  nerve
  •  moxie
  •  confidence
  •  pride

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning of the word audacity, which are called antonyms. Antonyms are useful to know when you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word audacity is also provided by Power Thesaurus. 

  •  angst
  •  modesty
  •  ailment
  •  courteousness
  •  agony
  •  gentility
  •  agita
  •  meekness
  •  nervousness
  •  cravenness
  •  animation
  •  graciousness
  •  all-overs
  •  yielding
  •  consternation
  •  ants in pants
  •  chill
  •  antsiness
  •  anxiousness
  •  butterflies in one’s stomach
  •  chagrin
  •  decency
  •  cower
  •  butterflies
  •  commotion
  •  diplomacy
  •  blues
  •  delicacy
  •  delirium
  •  atonement
  •  collywobbles
  •  deliciousness
  •  cowardliness
  •  confusion
  •  conflict
  •  chivalry
  •  apprehension
  •  civilization
  •  attentiveness
  •  burden
  •  bother
  •  daintiness
  •  constraint
  •  awkwardness
  •  botheration
  •  decorum
  •  chemistry
  •  dastardliness
  •  circumspection
  •  craziness
  •  astuteness
  •  comity
  •  butterflies in the stomach
  •  clemency
  •  concern
  •  coyness
  •  cold feet
  •  diffidence
  •  compunction
  •  depression
  •  apprehensiveness
  •  creeps
  •  consideration
  •  concernment
  •  cowardness
  •  fineness
  •  fear
  •  timorousness
  •  care
  •  fearfulness
  •  cold sweat
  •  amenity
  •  blue funk
  •  anguish
  •  agitation
  •  manners
  •  carefulness
  •  politeness
  •  courtesy
  •  alarum
  •  mannerliness
  •  humbleness
  •  timidity
  •  shyness
  •  caution
  •  civility
  •  alarm
  •  horror
  •  humility
  •  anxiety
  •  timidness
  •  hesitancy
  •  annoyance
  •  reserve
  •  bashfulness
  •  respect
  •  fright
  •  benevolence
  •  dread
  •  cowardice

How can the word audacity be used in a sentence?

The word audacity can be used in many different ways in the American English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself. Below are several examples of audacity. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today!

The people could not believe the audacity of the coronavirus to impede every event in their lives – a graduation ceremony, engagement, even beverages with friends. They were grateful that the vaccine program was underway, and understanding of the mask mandate.

The lecturer could not believe the questioner’s audacity. The lecturer was one of the biggest pieces of talent in the paradigm of modern science, and had numerous achievements, but the listener had an aggressive boldness of behavior at her talk at Princeton University, implying ehr science skills were lesser because she is a woman.

The sheer audacity of the plan was enough to make most people turn their backs, but Marquise de Condillac and the king of Naples were game for the journey

The reckless daring programmers sought to make operating systems better than Windows or Linux. Most people were shocked at their audacity, but came to know the multibillion dollar company as Apple and the subsequent Mac computer.

Overall, the word audacity means unmitigated effrontery or presumptuous impudence. This word is Latin in origin.


  1. Audacity definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. audacity: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Audacity synonyms – 885 Words and Phrases for Audacity | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Audacity antonyms – 445 Opposites of Audacity | Power Thesaurus 
  5. audacity | Origin and meaning of audacity | Online Etymology Dictionary