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When he participated in debates and round table discussions, Christopher Hitchens spoke with supreme confidence.

I'd like to replace with supreme confidence with an adverb that implies supreme confidence, falling just shy of arrogance.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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IMO, just about any adverb will fail to convey the same message as with supreme confidence. There are words such as certitude or even chutzpah which might convey a similar sentiment, but alas, not as adverbs. – coleopterist Jul 28 '12 at 14:46
So you want something between confidently and hubristically? I'm not sure that English adverbs have enough fine gradations for that. You could say very confidently or most confidently. – Peter Shor Jul 28 '12 at 16:01
+1 I think there might be a fine line between 'supreme confidence' and arrogance. – J. Walker Jul 28 '12 at 18:54
Why don't we just use confidently? Either you are confident or are not. – Stat-R Jul 28 '12 at 19:45

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd go with:

  • commandingly

  • boldly

  • brilliantly

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How about eloquence, aplomb, or poise?


1: discourse marked by force and persuasiveness; also : the art or power of using such discourse
2: the quality of forceful or persuasive expressiveness


: complete and confident composure or self-assurance


a : easy self-possessed assurance of manner

...Christopher Hitchens spoke with (eloquence, aplomb, poise).

... Christopher Hitchens spoke with marked (eloquence, aplomb, poise).

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None of these satisfy the OP's requirements. He'd "like to eliminate with supreme confidence". – coleopterist Jul 28 '12 at 14:39
@coleopterist okay, fine: eloquently. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jul 28 '12 at 18:02
I think "aplomb" works really well for the OP. – Uticensis Jul 28 '12 at 20:31


  • dauntlessly
  • self-assuredly
  • intrepidly
  • determinedly
  • purposefully
  • drivingly
  • decisively
  • firmly
  • assuredly
  • enthusiastically
  • aggressively
  • fervently
  • persistently
  • unremittingly
  • zealously
  • ardently
  • animatedly

But I like the prepositional phrase just fine, and don’t see any real need to replace it with a single-word adverb.

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I think that the word "positively" justifies the definition quite well.

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I would suggest imperiously.

Imperious is defined as:

a : befitting or characteristic of one of eminent rank or attainments : commanding, dominant

A second meaning is:

b : marked by arrogant assurance : domineering

This word weems to be on the border of what OP is seeking.

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Personally I would go for audacity.

From Oxford Dictionaries Online:

A willingness to take bold risks.

You can be commended for audacity, or a plan being audacious, but it can also be used negatively, as in the sheer cheek or gall of someone.

Your audacity knows no bounds is a fine example of a sentence that could be used in both the positive and negative senses, dependent on context of course. I appreciate this has already been answered but felt that audacity captures the negative element quite well!

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