brave

adjective
\ ˈbrāv How to pronounce brave (audio) \
braver; bravest

Definition of brave

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

brave

verb
braved; braving

Definition of brave (Entry 2 of 3)

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

brave

noun

Definition of brave (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from brave

Adjective

bravely adverb

Verb

braver noun

Examples of brave in a Sentence

Adjective She gave us a brave smile. He lost his brave fight against the disease. Verb Thousands of fans braved rush-hour traffic to see the concert. a soldier who braved enemy fire to rescue her wounded comrade
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Indigenous people of these regions brave snakes and scorpions to climb the trees and press a knife to the papery bark, just enough to break through the green skin beneath. New York Times, "How Botanical Oils Won Over the West," 7 May 2021 But on a more positive note, the cicadas will become a feast for many of nature's other creatures, even some brave humans. CBS News, "Trillions of cicadas are about to emerge after 17 years underground," 5 May 2021 The septum piercings and lip rings might be only for the brave... or the social media-savvy. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Logomania Is Coming for Your Face," 4 May 2021 After my book was finished, this brave woman called to inform me that her ex-husband had died. Suzy Salman Kanoo, Forbes, "Citizens Of No Country," 4 May 2021 Carrie Fisher’s brave, I’ll-rescue-my-own-damn-self princess! Ew Staff, EW.com, "Every Star Wars film ranked from worst to best," 4 May 2021 Wow, that is incredibly personal and brave of you to share. Korin Miller, Health.com, "Rebel Wilson Hints at Possible Fertility Struggles in New Instagram Post," 3 May 2021 Susan will be strong on the Border, Crime, Pro-Life, our brave Military and Vets, and will ALWAYS protect your Second Amendment. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Trump congratulates Susan Wright on Texas runoff advancement, touts own endorsement," 2 May 2021 But before he was allowed to go free, this brave, patriotic Black man who had vowed to die for his country was reduced to crying and cursing while handcuffed and on his knees in front of two men who did not deserve his respect. Dahleen Glanton, Star Tribune, "In traffic stop of a Black Army officer in Virginia, echoes of George Floyd," 13 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Luckily, Smith and Eskew were willing and able to brave the water and help the woman to safety. Henri Hollis, ajc, "Restaurant diner, employee rescue struggling woman from Chattahoochee," 11 May 2021 But intrepid congregants may choose to brave this week's arctic blast to participate in a ritual that many find deeply meaningful. Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune, "Lent kits, ashes to go mark Ash Wednesday during pandemic," 15 Feb. 2021 While some daring cyclists occasionally brave the sidewalks or a narrow shoulder before darting to a side street, most stay away. BostonGlobe.com, "Bikes on the McGrath Highway? The state’s preparing to redesign the urban artery," 23 Apr. 2021 That meant Yu had to hire a lawyer and brave a hearing at the Planning Commission. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. ice cream shop hopeful sees dreams melted by city's small business bureaucracy," 21 Apr. 2021 This was the kind of meet the 2,500 gymnastics fans allowed in the building had come to expect and brave a pandemic to see. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah gymnastics team posts a season-high in winning regional and advancing to NCAA Championships," 3 Apr. 2021 However, there are still passionate clog lovers who brave the cold and snow with style and caution. Anthony Marcusa, chicagotribune.com, "The best classic clog," 3 Apr. 2021 But those who couldn’t leave the house easily — or at all — weren’t able to zip down to their doctor’s office or brave the daunting lines at Dodger Stadium. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, "Grass-roots groups are helping the homebound get vaccines. They’re racing against the clock," 30 Mar. 2021 My laundry is basically always going because of an endless cycle of washing the many sweaty layers needed to brave the outdoors. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "As the longest winter ever nears an end (we think), conflicting perspectives abound," 27 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prada and Simone Rocha showed split-sole options, while Matthew Williams’s hoof-like platform at Givenchy is truly for the brave. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The 10 Most Important Accessory Trends for Fall 2021," 19 Mar. 2021 Only the brave at heart will want to cross this new bridge near Porto. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Portugal Is Opening the World's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge — and It Looks Absolutely Terrifying," 7 Oct. 2020 Many respectable Americans sadly are allowing fear of ridicule and bullying to silence their voices in this land of the free and home of the brave. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: Free to speak?," 27 Sep. 2020 But the movement started with Burke and a 12-year-old brave enough to speak up. USA Today, "The women who made their mark this past 100 years didn’t achieve despite adversity. They achieved because of it.," 13 Aug. 2020 Those who warned against the coming of fascism will congratulate themselves for saving the home of the free and redeeming the land of the brave, which somehow lurched towards the brink. Samuel Moyn, The New York Review of Books, "The Trouble with Comparisons," 19 May 2020 Every year, a crowd of brave, bedecked daredevils lines up along the ocean shore in Virginia Beach, and charges headfirst into the frigid winter waters. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Valentine's stories that will make you believe in love," 15 Feb. 2020 There’s a kind of brave and, perhaps cocky, transparency in choosing a dress that is available off the rack. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "At second state dinner, Melania Trump’s dress is as quiet and dutiful as her," 21 Sep. 2019 Beside him was one Henry Coxwell, who piloted the balloon; of the brave and experienced Mr. Coxwell, however, not a trace remains onscreen. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Fanciful Flamboyance of “The Aeronauts”," 29 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of brave

Adjective

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1546, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for brave

Adjective

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

Verb

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

Noun

noun derivative of brave entry 1

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Statistics for brave

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for brave

brave

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of brave

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: feeling or showing no fear : not afraid

brave

verb

English Language Learners Definition of brave (Entry 2 of 3)

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

brave

noun

English Language Learners Definition of brave (Entry 3 of 3)

old-fashioned : a Native American warrior

brave

adjective
\ ˈbrāv How to pronounce brave (audio) \
braver; bravest

Kids Definition of brave

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: feeling or showing no fear

Other Words from brave

bravely adverb

brave

verb
braved; braving

Kids Definition of brave (Entry 2 of 3)

: to face or handle without fear

brave

noun

Kids Definition of brave (Entry 3 of 3)

: an American Indian warrior

Choose the Right Synonym for brave

Adjective

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on brave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brave

Nglish: Translation of brave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brave for Arabic Speakers

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