1

brave

play
adjective \ ˈbrāv \

Definition of brave

braver; bravest
1 :having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty :having or showing courage
  • a brave soldier
  • a brave smile
2 :making a fine show :colorful
  • brave banners flying in the wind
3 :excellent, splendid
  • the brave fire I soon had going
  • —J. F. Dobie

bravely

adverb

Examples of brave in a Sentence

  1. She gave us a brave smile.

  2. He lost his brave fight against the disease.

Recent Examples of brave from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of brave

borrowed from Medieval French, borrowed from Italian bravo "courageous, wild," perhaps ultimately going back to Latin barbarus barbarous

brave Synonyms

Synonyms
bold, courageous, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, greathearted, gutsy, gutty, heroic (also heroical), intrepid, lionhearted, manful, stalwart, stout, stouthearted, undauntable, undaunted, valiant, valorous
Antonyms
chicken, chickenhearted, chicken-livered, coward, cowardly, craven, dastardly, fainthearted, fearful, gutless, lily-livered, milk-livered [archaic], nerveless, poltroon, poor-spirited, pusillanimous, spineless, spiritless, timorous, uncourageous, ungallant, unheroic, weakhearted, yellow
Related Words
determined, firm, game, gamy (or gamey), gritty, plucky, resolute, Spartan, undeterred, undismayed, unflinching, unswerving; mettlesome, spirited, spunky; adventuresome, adventurous, audacious, daring, dashing, hardy, venturesome, venturous; crazy, foolish, half-witted, insane, lunatic, mad, nutty; brash, brazen, daredevil, foolhardy, heedless, hotheaded, impetuous, imprudent, impulsive, incautious, madcap, overbold, overconfident, rash, reckless, thoughtless, wild; hasty, headlong, precipitate; comforted, emboldened, encouraged, heartened, reassured, unafraid
Near Antonyms
diffident, mousy (or mousey), scary, shy, skittish, timid; anxious, apprehensive, nervous; careful, cautious, heedful, prudent, unadventurous; afraid, agitated, disconcerted, disquieted, disturbed, frightened, horrified, panicked, panic-stricken, perturbed, scared, shocked, spooked, startled, terrified, terrorized, unnerved, upset; appalled, concerned, dismayed, worried; unmanly, weak, wimpy

2

brave

verb

Definition of brave

braved; braving
transitive verb
1 :to face or endure with courage
  • braved the rush-hour traffic to get there
  • braving the elements
2 obsolete :to make showy
intransitive verb
archaic :to show courage :to make a brave show

braver

noun

Examples of brave in a Sentence

  1. Thousands of fans braved rush-hour traffic to see the concert.

  2. a soldier who braved enemy fire to rescue her wounded comrade

Recent Examples of brave from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of brave

borrowed from Medieval French braver "to challenge, flout," verbal derivative of brave 1brave


3

brave

noun

Definition of brave

1 archaic :bravado
2
[in part borrowed from French, noun derivative of brave 1brave]
:one with mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty :one who is brave (see 1brave)
  • none but the brave deserves the fair
  • —John Dryden
; specifically :an American Indian warrior
3 archaic :bully, assassin

Recent Examples of brave from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of brave

noun derivative of 1brave



BRAVE Defined for English Language Learners

brave

play
adjective

Definition of brave for English Language Learners

  • : feeling or showing no fear : not afraid


brave

verb

Definition of brave for English Language Learners

  • : to face or deal with (something dangerous or unpleasant)


brave

noun

Definition of brave for English Language Learners

  • : a Native American warrior


BRAVE Defined for Kids

1

brave

play
adjective \ ˈbrāv \

Definition of brave for Students

braver; bravest
:feeling or showing no fear

bravely

adverb

Synonym Discussion of brave

brave, courageous, and bold mean showing no fear. brave is used of a person who has or shows no fear when faced with danger or difficulty.
    • The brave crew tried to save the ship.
courageous is used of a person who is always prepared to meet danger or difficulty.
    • The early astronauts were courageous in facing the dangers of space travel.
bold is used of a person who welcomes dangerous situations.
    • The bold explorers went in search of adventure.

2

brave

verb

Definition of brave for Students

braved; braving
:to face or handle without fear

3

brave

noun

Definition of brave for Students

:an American Indian warrior


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up brave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!