from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Foolhardy disregard of danger; recklessness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Reckless boldness; foolish bravery.
  • n. An act or case of reckless boldness.
  • n. Effrontery; impudence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Unreasonable contempt of danger; extreme venturesomeness; rashness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Extreme venturesomeness; rashness; recklessness.
  • n. Synonyms Rashness, Temerity (see rashness); venturesomeness, presumption, foolhardiness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fearless daring


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English temerite, from Old French, from Latin temeritās, from temere, rashly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin temeritās ("chance, accident, rashness"), from temerē ("by chance, casually, rashly").



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  • No child has the temerity to go in the rundown house at the end of the street and see if it is haunted.

    October 29, 2017

  • Temerity is used in Chapter XXII of "The Return of Dr Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer.

    March 3, 2015

  • This word was used in "To Kill A Mockingbird" when Atticus was defending Mr. Robinson at his trial.

    June 20, 2012

  • Stan raised his light eyebrows at my temerity. -Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas

    December 11, 2010

  • Word History: Today's Good Word is a burnishing of 15th century French témérité, inherited from Latin temeritas "happenstance, accident, at random", a noun derived from the adverb temere "by chance, accidentally". "Blindly" or "in the dark" are other fitting translations of this word because it comes from a Proto-Indo-European word, temes- "dark". We find relatives in Sanskrit tamas- "darkness" and Russian t'ma "darkness" and tëmnyi "dark".

    Dr. Goodword,

    November 30, 2009

  • Temerity n. excessive confidence or boldness; audacity.

    Implies exposing oneself needlessly to danger while failing to estimate one's chances of success.

    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin temeritas, from temere ‘rashly.’

    He didn't know that in some places, like the country that Rahel came form, various kinds of despair competed for primacy. And that personal despair could never be desperate enough. That something happened when personal turmoil dropped by at the wayside shrine of the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible public turmoil of a nation. That Big God howled like a hot wind, and demanded obeisance. Then Small God (cozy and contained, private and limited) came away cauterized, laughing numbly at his own temerity" (Roy 20)

    Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

    February 26, 2008