\ˈbōld \

Definition of bold 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : fearless before danger : intrepid bold settlers on some foreign shore— William Wordsworth

b : showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit a bold plan

2 : impudent, presumptuous punishing a bold child for talking back If I may be so bold, I'd like to make a few suggestions.

3 obsolete : assured, confident

4 : sheer, steep bold cliffs

5 : adventurous, free a bold thinker

6 : standing out prominently bold headlines

7 : being or set in boldface bold lettering



Definition of bold (Entry 2 of 2)

: boldface printed in bold

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Other Words from bold


boldly \ ˈbōl(d)-​lē \ adverb
boldness \ ˈbōl(d)-​nəs \ noun

Examples of bold in a Sentence


Few politicians have been bold enough to oppose the plan to cut taxes. It's a bold plan that might fail. Hiring a novice was a bold move. He punished the bold child for talking back. I'd like to offer a few criticisms, if I may be so bold. She wore a dress with bold stripes. The painting is done in bold colors.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Everyone from Calvin Harris to Porter Robinson is looking to the past to make bold moves today, and SNBRN is the latest producer to get bit by the old-school bug. Kat Bein, Billboard, "SNBRN Hits Classic House Notes With Harloe on 'If I Can't Have You': Exclusive," 12 July 2018 But a bold three-wide move to pass going into turn three didn't work out, and Rhodes' bid to win at home ended with Chupacabra totaled. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Victory at Kentucky Speedway would be 'biggest win ever' for Ben Rhodes," 9 July 2018 Such bold moves have become a signature of Mr. Loeb, one of the world’s most visible activist investors and a hedge fund manager who has gone after major companies like Dow Chemical and Sony. New York Times, "Activist Investor Daniel Loeb Intensifies Pressure on Nestlé to Reorganize," 1 July 2018 Get our daily newsletter That was Glencore’s second bold move in a week in Congo. The Economist, "Glencore dodges American sanctions rather than spurn its friends," 21 June 2018 That’s a bold, brave move to choose your own happiness. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Talking About Cheating, Vaping, and White Wine With The Affair’s Maura Tierney," 15 June 2018 Watch the video above to see why the internet has fallen in love with the squirrel’s bold moves. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "This 'thief' was caught shoplifting from Disney's Magic Kingdom on camera," 12 June 2018 Her bold move from Latin to English-speaking pop music markets, her injury in a tour bus accident and remarkable recovery — all part of the daily news diet down there. Tim Smith,, "At the Hippodrome, a propulsive journey through the career of Gloria Estefan in 'On Your Feet'," 7 June 2018 Matt Breen has a bold idea for the Phillies: Trade for Manny Machado. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies' whole is greater than sum of their parts, as All-Star voting proves | Extra Innings," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But perhaps worse is his bold—but more mainstream—demand that NATO countries meet an arbitrary military spending goal. Lindsay Koshgarian, Fortune, "Trump’s Complaints About NATO Defense Spending Don’t Add Up," 12 July 2018 Designer Sandra Nunnerley adds tranquil glamour to a his-and-hers bathroom in New York City, where the use of mosaic tile creates two different looks — one soft, one bold. Sarah Yang, House Beautiful, "Top Pin of the Day: A Bathroom with Amazing Mosaic Tile," 6 Jan. 2014 A: Bold and whimsical, heavily influenced by American traditional tattooing. Lisa Deaderick,, "Changing the way people see art," 27 Aug. 2017 The Spanish outlet, infamous in recent years for bold and sometimes spurious claims, suggests that Griezmann has spoken 'seriously' with coach Diego Simeone, leading to an 'ultimatum'., "Man Utd & Barcelona Target Antoine Griezmann Reportedly Issues Transfer Ultimatum to Atletico," 14 Aug. 2017 Bold printed pants, diminutive round black sunglasses, and the kind of lit-from-within confidence that's the sure mark of a modern day Super. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Turns Athleisure Hair Into a Street Style Home Run," 31 July 2017 The highest hotel in the metropolis, located at one of its most esteemed addresses, and offering an unparalleled experience, The Reverie Saigon is poised to introduce a bold, all- new brand of luxury to Vietnam for the first time. Town & Country, "These Are the 83 Top Hotels Around the World," 6 Oct. 2016 Bold, modern takes on Shakespeare often shift the era and style of a play. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "Review: Seattle Shakes’ ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is missing some of its magic," 12 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bold.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bold


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bold


Middle English, from Old English beald; akin to Old High German bald bold


see bold entry 1

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Statistics for bold

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bold

The first known use of bold was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bold



English Language Learners Definition of bold

: not afraid of danger or difficult situations

: showing or needing confidence or lack of fear

: very confident in a way that may seem rude or foolish


\ˈbōld \
bolder; boldest

Kids Definition of bold

1 : willing to meet danger or take risks : daring bold knights

2 : not polite and modest : fresh a bold remark

3 : showing or calling for courage or daring a bold plan

4 : standing out prominently She has a face with bold features.

Other Words from bold

boldly adverb
boldness noun

Medical Definition of BOLD 

blood oxygenation level-dependent; blood oxygen level-dependent

Note: BOLD is used to describe imaging signals and methods that measure changes in the magnetic properties of hemoglobin accompanying changes in blood oxygen levels. BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging is dependent on oxygen levels and is used especially in the study of brain function to produce images showing blood flow indicative of neural activity.

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