Strength of mind in regard to danger; that quality which enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; prowess; intrepidity.
(dated) A brave man; a man of valour.
(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),
* 1837 , , The Pickwick Papers , ch. 17,
- 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.
* 1886 , , The Mayor of Casterbridge , ch. 21
- One day when he knew old Lobbs was out, Nathaniel Pipkin had the temerity to kiss his hand to Maria Lobbs.
* 1913 , , The Return of Tarzan , 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.
(countable) An act or case of reckless boldness.
* 1910 , , "The Blond Beast," Scribner's Magazine , vol. 48 (Sept),
- I am surprised that you, sir, a man of letters yourself, should have the temerity so to interrupt the progress of science.
(not countable) Effrontery; impudence.
* 1820 , , Precaution , ch. 30,
- Draper, dear lad, had the illusion of an "intellectual sympathy" between them.... Draper's temerities would always be of that kind.
- 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)