Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To insult intentionally, especially openly. synonym: offend.
  • transitive verb To meet defiantly; confront.
  • transitive verb Obsolete To meet or encounter (another) face to face.
  • noun An open or intentional offense, slight, or insult.
  • noun Obsolete A hostile encounter or meeting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To meet or encounter face to face; confront; front; face.
  • To offend by an open manifestation of disrespect; put a slight upon; offend by effrontery or insolence: as, to affront one by doubting his word; an affronting speech.
  • To put out of countenance; make ashamed or confused; give a shock to.
  • noun The act of opposing face to face; open defiance; encounter.
  • noun A personally offensive act or word; an intentional or supercilious slight; an open manifestation of disrespect or contumely; an insult to the face.
  • noun Shame; disgrace; anything producing a feeling of shame or disgrace.
  • noun Synonyms Affront, Insult, Indignity, Outrage, provocation, impertinence, offense, rudeness. These words express disrespect shown in a way that is, or is meant to be, galling. An affront is generally open and to the face. An insult is stronger, perhaps accompanied by more insolence of manner; it is a deeper disgrace and a greater injury to the feelings of its object. An indignity is, specifically, treatment that is unworthy — an affront, insult, injury, or outrage from which one's condition or character should have saved one: as, Zenobia was subjected to the indignity of being led in chains at Aurelian's triumph. An outrage, primarily involving the idea of violence to the person, is a wanton transgression of law or propriety in any way, the perpetration of that which is shamefully contrary to the dictates of humanity or even decency; toward a person it is a combination of insult with indignity; hence it often stands for extreme abusiveness of language. It has freedom of use sufficient to make proper such expressions as, an outrage to his feelings, an outrage to all decency.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To front; to face in position; to meet or encounter face to face.
  • transitive verb Archaic To face in defiance; to confront; ; hence, to meet in hostile encounter.
  • transitive verb To offend by some manifestation of disrespect; to insult to the face by demeanor or language; to treat with marked incivility.
  • noun obsolete An encounter either friendly or hostile.
  • noun Contemptuous or rude treatment which excites or justifies resentment; marked disrespect; a purposed indignity; insult.
  • noun An offense to one's self-respect; shame.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To insult intentionally, especially openly.
  • verb To meet defiantly; to confront.
  • verb obsolete To meet or encounter face to face.
  • noun An open or intentional offense, slight, or insult.
  • noun obsolete A hostile encounter or meeting.

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

  • noun a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
  • verb treat, mention, or speak to rudely

Etymologies

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

[Middle English afrounten, from Old French afronter : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin frōns, front-, face; see front.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English afrounten, from Old French afronter ("to defy"), from Vulgar Latin *affrontare ("to hit in the face"), from Latin ad ("to") + frons ("forehead").

Examples

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