To Affro'nt. v.a. [affronter, Fr. that is, ad frontem stare; ad frontem & contumeliam allidere, to insult a man to his face.]
- To meet face to face; to encounter. This seems the genuine and original sense of the word, which was formerly indifferent to good or ill.
We have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia. Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The seditious, the next day, affronted the king's forces at the entrance of a highway; whom when they found both ready and resolute to fight, they desired enterparlance, and in the meantime they began to fortify. Sir John Hayward.
- To meet, in a hostile manner, front to front.
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
And with their darkness durst affront his light. Parad. Lost.
- To offer an open insult; to offend avowedly. With respect to this sense, it is observed by Cervantes, that, if a man strikes another on the back, and then runs away, the person so struck is injured, but not affronted; an affront always implying a justification of the act.
But harm precedes not sin only our foe,
Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integrity. Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ix.
I would learn the cause, why Torrismond,
Within my palace walls, within my hearing,
Almost within my sight, affronts a prince,
Who shortly shall command him. Dryden's Spanish Friar.
This brings to mind Faustina's fondness for the gladiator, and is interpreted as satire. But how can one imagine, that the Fathers would have dared to affront the wife of Aurelius. Addison.