Temerity Te*mer"i*ty, n. [L. temeritas, from temere by chance, rashly; perhaps akin to Skr. tamas darkness: cf. F. t['e]m['e]rit['e].] Unreasonable contempt of danger; extreme venturesomeness; rashness; as, the temerity of a commander in war. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Rashness; precipitancy; heedlessness; venturesomeness.

Usage: {Temerity}, {Rashness}. These words are closely allied in sense, but have a slight difference in their use and application. Temerity is Latin, and rashness is Anglo-Saxon. As in many such cases, the Latin term is more select and dignified; the Anglo-Saxon more familiar and energetic. We show temerity in hasty decisions, and the conduct to which they lead. We show rashness in particular actions, as dictated by sudden impulse. It is an exhibition of temerity to approach the verge of a precipice; it is an act of rashness to jump into a river without being able to swim. Temerity, then, is an unreasonable contempt of danger; rashness is a rushing into danger from thoughtlessness or excited feeling. [1913 Webster]

It is notorious temerity to pass sentence upon grounds uncapable of evidence. --Barrow. [1913 Webster]

Her rush hand in evil hour Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • temerity — temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall are comparable when they mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness (as in speech, behavior, or action). Temerity usually implies contempt of danger and consequent rashness; often it… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • temerity — [tə mer′ə tē] n. [ME temeryte < L temeritas < temere, rashly, blindly < IE base * tem , dark > OS thimm, dark, L tenebrae, darkness] foolish or rash boldness; foolhardiness; recklessness SYN. TEMERITY refers to a rashness or foolish… …   English World dictionary

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  • temerity — early 15c., from M.Fr. témérité (15c.), from L. temeritatem (nom. temeritas) blind chance, accident, rashness, from temere by chance, blindly, casually, rashly, related to tenebrae darkness, from PIE root *temes dark (Cf. Skt. tamas darkness,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • temerity — [n] nerve, audacity assurance, boldness, brass*, carelessness, daring, effrontery, foolhardiness, forwardness, gall, hardihood, hastiness, heedlessness, impertinence, impetuosity, imprudence, impudence, impulsiveness, indiscretion, intrepidity,… …   New thesaurus

  • temerity — ► NOUN ▪ excessive confidence or boldness. ORIGIN Latin temeritas, from temere rashly …   English terms dictionary

  • temerity — noun (plural ties) Etymology: Middle English temeryte, from Latin temeritas, from temere blindly, recklessly; akin to Old High German demar darkness, Latin tenebrae, Sanskrit tamas Date: 15th century 1. unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • temerity — n. the temerity to + inf. (he had the temerity to file a grievance) * * * [tɪ merɪtɪ] the temerity to + inf. (he had the temerity to file a grievance) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • temerity — noun I doubt they ll have the temerity to print these accusations Syn: audacity, nerve, effrontery, impudence, impertinence, cheek, gall, presumption; daring; informal face, front, neck, chutzpah •• temerity, audacity, effrontery, foolhardiness,… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • temerity — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. rashness, boldness, audacity, recklessness, daring, nerve, gall, brass (sl.), cheek (sl.). II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. audacity, effrontery, boldness, hardihood, rashness, presumption, overconfidence,… …   English dictionary for students

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