bra·​va·​do brə-ˈvä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce bravado (audio)
plural bravadoes or bravados
: blustering swaggering conduct
youthful bravado
: a pretense of bravery
: the quality or state of being foolhardy

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Displays of bravado may be show-offish, daring, reckless, and inconsistent with good sense—take, for example, the spectacular feats of stuntpeople—but when successful they are still likely to be met with shouts of "bravo!" Celebrities, political leaders, corporate giants, and schoolyard bullies, however, may show a different flavor of bravado: one that suggests an overbearing boldness that comes from arrogance or a position of power. The word bravado originally comes from the Old Italian adjective bravo, meaning "wild" or "courageous," which English has also to thank for the more ubiquitous brave.

Examples of bravado in a Sentence

His stories are always told with bravado. I remember his youthful bravado.
Recent Examples on the Web There’s a hint of bravado in each look she’s chosen to wear recently too. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 8 Apr. 2024 While that may seem like bravado, that came to fruition. Kristin Robinson, Billboard, 29 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for bravado 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bravado.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bravado was circa 1580


Dictionary Entries Near bravado

Cite this Entry

“Bravado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bra·​va·​do brə-ˈväd-ō How to pronounce bravado (audio)
plural bravadoes or bravados
: a display of reckless or pretended bravery

More from Merriam-Webster on bravado

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