Temerity

Te*mer"i*ty

(?), n. [L. temeritas, from temere by chance, rashly; perhaps akin to Skr. tamas darkness: cf. F. tmrit.] Unreasonable contempt of danger; extreme venturesomeness; rashness; as, the temerity of a commander in war.
[1913 Webster]

Syn. -- Rashness; precipitancy; heedlessness; venturesomeness. -- 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]

 

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Thu 13th December 2018