bra·​va·​do | \ brə-ˈvä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce bravado (audio) \
plural bravadoes or bravados

Definition of bravado

1a : blustering swaggering conduct youthful bravado
b : a pretense of bravery
2 : the quality or state of being foolhardy

Did you know?

Bravado ultimately traces to the Old Italian adjective bravo, meaning "courageous" or "wild." Nowadays, the wildness once associated with bravado has been tamed to an overbearing boldness that comes from arrogance or a position of power. Celebrities, political or corporate giants, and the schoolyard bully may all show bravado (though they often turn out to be not so tough after all). Bravado is also used for show-offish, daring acts that seem reckless and inconsistent with good sense, but might nonetheless be applauded with shouts of "Bravo!" when successful (the spectacular feats of stuntmen, for example).

Examples of bravado in a Sentence

His stories are always told with bravado. I remember his youthful bravado.
Recent Examples on the Web Where there is bravery and conviction, there is often also bravado and theater. Globe Staff,, 23 Apr. 2022 Finally, the Moon clashes with Saturn at 9:55 pm EDT -- and reality may shut down our bravado. Chicago Tribune, 1 July 2022 Maybe the best comparison, with her unfadeable bravado and hair perfectly out of place, is a Julian Casablancas for a new generation of LGBTQ kids. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2022 Yet, while their bravado and intensity are often at the film's forefront, none receives screentime that resembles the Goose-and-Mav camaraderie of old. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 24 May 2022 The two leaders hit it off, and not just because of their legendary macho bravado. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2022 And Biden’s confidence in that willingness, despite his bravado, does not appear high. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 24 Feb. 2022 For all his bravado, the 26th U.S. president had no problem admitting his failings, particularly in the marksmanship arena. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Nov. 2021 The Vols, who tempted the baseball gods all season with their swaggering bravado, were upset by Notre Dame. Joseph Goodman |, al, 14 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of bravado

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bravado

Middle French bravade & Old Spanish bravata, from Old Italian bravata, from bravare to challenge, show off, from bravo

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Time Traveler for bravado

Time Traveler

The first known use of bravado was circa 1580

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Dictionary Entries Near bravado



Bravais lattice

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bravado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bravado

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bravado

Nglish: Translation of bravado for Spanish Speakers


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