Impertinent vs Temerity - What's the difference?

impertinent | temerity |

As nouns the difference between impertinent and temerity

is that impertinent is an impertinent individual while temerity is (not countable) reckless boldness; foolish bravery.

As an adjective impertinent

is insolent, ill-mannered.




(en adjective)
  • insolent, ill-mannered
  • * Tillotson
  • things that are impertinent to us
  • * Jeremy Taylor
  • How impertinent that grief was which served no end!
  • irrelevant (opposite of pertinent)
  • Usage notes

    Although, historically, definition 2 was the original (derived from the French below) usage; meaning gradually changed to definition 1. More recently general usage has come to, once again, incorporate definition 2. As many older speakers will consider definition 2 incorrect, avoiding the word altogether may be advisable. The construction "not pertinent" is one possible alternative.


    * See also


    (en noun)
  • An impertinent individual.
  • * (Maria Edgeworth)
  • comfortably recessed from curious impertinents




  • (not countable) Reckless boldness; foolish bravery.
  • * 1569 , Thomas Pearson, trans., "The Second Paradox," in The booke of Marcus Tullius Cicero entituled Paradoxa Stoicorum , T. Marshe (London),
  • Neyther the spightfull temerity and rashnes of variable fortune, nor the envious hart burning and in iurious hatred of mine enemies shold be able once to damnify me.
  • * 1837 , , The Pickwick Papers , ch. 17,
  • One day when he knew old Lobbs was out, Nathaniel Pipkin had the temerity to kiss his hand to Maria Lobbs.
  • * 1886 , , The Mayor of Casterbridge , ch. 21
  • Elizabeth trotted through the open door in the dusk, but becoming alarmed at her own temerity , she went quickly out again by another which stood open in the lofty wall of the back court.
  • * 1913 , , The Return of Tarzan , ch. 21,
  • I am surprised that you, sir, a man of letters yourself, should have the temerity so to interrupt the progress of science.
  • (countable) An act or case of reckless boldness.
  • * 1910 , , "The Blond Beast," Scribner's Magazine , vol. 48 (Sept),
  • Draper, dear lad, had the illusion of an "intellectual sympathy" between them.... Draper's temerities would always be of that kind.
  • (not countable) Effrontery; impudence.
  • * 1820 , , Precaution , ch. 30,
  • He had very nearly been guilty of the temerity of arrogating to himself another title in the presence of those he most respected.


    * (reckless boldness): audacity, foolhardiness, rashness, recklessness * (effrontery): brashness, cheek, gall, chutzpah


    * * * * * " temerity" in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus (Wordsmyth, 2002) * " temerity" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007) * * Oxford English Dictionary , second edition (1989) * Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996) * *