Definitions

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

  • n. Brazen boldness; presumptuousness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Insolent and shameless audacity.
  • n. An act of insolent and shameless audacity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Impudence or boldness in confronting or in transgressing the bounds of duty or decorum; insulting presumptuousness; shameless boldness; barefaced assurance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Assurance; shamelessness; sauciness; impudence or boldness in transgressing the bounds of modesty, propreity, duty, etc.: as, the effrontery of vice; their corrupt practices were pursued with bold effrontery.
  • n. Synonyms Impertinence, etc. (see impudence); hardihood, audacity. See list under impertinence.

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

  • n. audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to

Etymologies

French effronterie, from effronté, shameless, from Old French esfronte, from Vulgar Latin *effrontātus, alteration of Late Latin effrōns, effront- : ex-, ex- + frōns, front-, front, forehead.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From late 17th century French effronterie, from effronté ("shameless, insolent"), from Old French esfronté, from Vulgar Latin *exfrontātus, from Latin exfrōns ("barefaced"), from prefix ex- ("from") + frōns ("forehead"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • This word was used in an episode of "The Borgias."

    June 15, 2012

  • OZ'S VOICE
    And you, Scarecrow, have the effrontery to
    ask for a brain?

    June 7, 2010

  • The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery.
    (Samuel Johnson)

    March 11, 2008