\ ˈbōld How to pronounce bold (audio) \

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 How to pronounce boldly (audio) \ adverb
boldness \ ˈbōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce boldness (audio) \ noun

Examples of bold in a Sentence

Adjective 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 In one of them, her beautiful daughter (manager, and choreographer, according to Beyhive lore), Blue Ivy, makes an appearance in bold lipstick and gorgeous gown. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Blue Ivy's Black is King Cameo Reminds Us She's the Boss," 30 July 2020 Celebrity picks aside, other notable discounts include these ballet flats from Nanette Lepore and these bold Vince Camuto pumps, both of which are also marked down to $40. Tanya Ghahremani, PEOPLE.com, "Tons of Celeb-Loved Sandals Are Only $40 in This Secret Sale," 29 July 2020 Energy Transfer has embarked on bold legal strategies in the past. Dallas News, "Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer girds for next battle over Dakota Access pipeline," 11 July 2020 Others are recklessly bold: George Sand, Stendhal, D.H. Lawrence, Philip Roth—for them, not to risk is a betrayal of one’s potential. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 Increasingly, South African women are bringing their brains, and bold fashion heritage, to the workplace. Norma Young, Quartz, "South African women are forging new fashion frontiers by embracing their heritage," 9 July 2020 More so than during the onset of the past two recessions, Congress and the White House have taken bold steps to provide emergency relief to households and businesses via the CARES Act. Matt Egan, CNN, "Americans are rapidly shrinking their credit card debt during the pandemic," 9 July 2020 The musical features bold, colorful lighting during pivotal scenes, like when Hercules Mulligan is introduced. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "LG CX features more sizes, but Sony’s A8H has a better picture," 8 July 2020 Hyundai has been making quite the statement with its bold new designs, and the 2021 Elantra is one of the many. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line Looks Perfectly Aggressive," 8 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead, Kenin played bold yet controlled, hitting five consecutive winners to turn things around. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Australian Open: Sofia Kenin Defeats Garbiñe Muguruza for Her First Major Title," 1 Feb. 2020 Many responses to Rosner’s tweet suggested that simply putting a single word in bold would help a diner know how to identify a bottle. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Yes, restaurant wine lists are confusing, but occasionally they get it right," 23 Jan. 2020 Springsteen’s lyrics are about unsung heroes who yearn for something better than what they’ve been dealt, a form of conflict Chadha approaches with a level of optimism that almost feels bold in this oft-cynical era of entertainment. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "How ‘Blinded by the Light’ finds common ground between Bruce Springsteen and a Pakistani-British teenager," 17 Aug. 2019 The names in bold are parents who were listed as defendants in the case. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Who Are the 33 Parents Charged in the College Admissions Cheating Scandal?," 12 Mar. 2019 There were bold, embellished gowns (Lili Reinhart, in Monique Lhuillier)! Glamour.com, Glamour, "The Best Looks From the 2018 Teen Choice Awards," 13 Aug. 2018 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, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Changing the way people see art," 27 Aug. 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

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for bold

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bold

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bold. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bold

How to pronounce bold (audio)

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 How to pronounce bold (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on bold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bold

Spanish Central: Translation of bold

Nglish: Translation of bold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bold for Arabic Speakers

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