Choose the right word
bold, aggressive, audacious, bumptious, brazen, intrepid, presumptuous
Is walking up to an attractive stranger and asking him or her to have dinner with you tonight a bold move or merely an aggressive one? Both words suggest assertive, confident behavior that is a little on the shameless side, but bold has a wider range of application. It can suggest self-confidence that borders on impudence ( to be so bold as to call the president by his first name), but it can also be used to describe a daring temperament that is either courageous or defiant ( a bold investigator who would not give up). Aggressive behavior, on the other hand, usually falls within a narrower range, somewhere between menacing ( aggressive attacks on innocent villagers) and just plain pushy ( an aggressive salesperson). Brazen implies a defiant lack of modesty ( a brazen stare), and presumptuous goes even further, suggesting overconfidence to the point of causing offense ( a presumptuous request for money). Bumptious behavior can also be offensive, but it is usually associated with the kind of cockiness that can't be helped ( a bumptious young upstart). An audacious individual is bold to the point of recklessness ( an audacious explorer), which brings it very close in meaning to intrepid, suggesting fearlessness in the face of the unknown ( the intrepid settlers of the Great Plains).