brave

adjective
\ ˈbrāv \
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 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 brave entry 1) none but the brave deserves the fair —John Dryden specifically : an American Indian warrior

3 archaic : bully, assassin

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Other words from brave

Adjective

bravely adverb

Verb

braver noun

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.

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

Michael Biss, a 95-year-old WWII and Korean War veteran, was determined to show the child how to dive with a brave face, but Michael had his own physical hurdles to overcome. Kamron Taylor, ajc, "95-year-old Air Force veteran shows little boy how to be brave," 12 July 2018 Michael Biss, a 95-year-old WWII and Korean War veteran, was determined to show the child how to dive with a brave face, but Michael had his own physical hurdles to overcome. Kamron Taylor, USA TODAY, "95-year-old Air Force veteran shows little boy how to be brave," 11 July 2018 Rebecca put on a brave face through the challenges of her illness and continued to work tirelessly for her clients. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/7," 7 July 2018 With Rose never the same, the Bulls put on a brave face. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "20 years since dissolution of the dynasty, Bulls still a long way from the top," 10 June 2018 Throughout, Clark has put on a brave face, but ALS is a merciless disease. Chris Ballard, SI.com, "In Montana, a 49ers Reunion for Dwight Clark," 2 May 2018 Breaux put on a brave face publicly after the debacle. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Saints face tricky circumstances with restricted free agents like Delvin Breaux, Willie Snead," 25 Feb. 2018 John Herbers was among the bravest and most talented, which is why his memoir is such an important record of these critical years in American history. Joseph Crespino, WSJ, "‘Deep South Dispatch’ Review: Witness to the Persecution," 10 July 2018 Of all the characters here, Kayce is most typically a hero — brave, generous, uninterested in money or power — and Grimes wears him like a lived-in second skin. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "Kevin Costner is back in cowboy boots to ride the range in 'Yellowstone'," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The photos were taken by both amateur and professional photographers, who braved frigid weather, trekked through dense forests and walked across wetlands to capture the perfect shots of our fine feathered friends. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Peep the Stunning Winners of the Audubon Society’s Photo Contest," 6 July 2018 An old parking garage has been removed and a parklike pedestrian platform over Interstate 44 allows visitors from downtown St. Louis to visit the city's most popular attraction without having to brave traffic lanes. Philip Kennicott, chicagotribune.com, "50 years later, the St. Louis Arch emerges with a new name and a skeptical view of western expansion," 26 June 2018 Photo: Todd Olszewski/Getty Images A crowd of 134,487 braved the bad weather for the second-leg of the Triple Crown and an infield concert headlined by rapper Post Malone. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "Justify Wins Muddy, Foggy Preakness Stakes," 19 May 2018 Patterson posed for pictures, shook hands, and thanked fans, approximately 1,500 to 2,000 of them, for braving the elements for the game. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "TCU spring game has a winter vibe but Gary Patterson keeps warm outlook | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 7 Apr. 2018 Everyone has their own reasons for braving the elements. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "It was cold and snowing for the Indians' opener. These fans still made it to Victory Field," 6 Apr. 2018 Yet, even after braving the long lines, many in the back of the venue left several songs into the group’s set. Kimberlee Kruesi, The Seattle Times, "Pussy Riot brings anti-Trump message to Idaho," 25 Mar. 2018 The spire atop Fort Street Presbyterian Church of Detroit looms lopsided over the grand building after braving harsh winds and snow. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Repair to damaged steeple will close streets near historic Detroit church," 24 Jan. 2018 Norway isn’t known for its warm climate, so naturally, kids there are expected to learn early on how to brave the chilly weather. Bonnie Vengrow, Good Housekeeping, "6 Parenting Tips From Around The World That Only Sound Crazy To Americans," 21 July 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Not just this team, all our English teams are playing like that—brave on the ball. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "How England Rewired Its Soccer DNA," 10 July 2018 One thing's for certain — the firefighters called little Khloe brave for not shedding a single tear, and considering the circumstances, that's no small feat. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "An "Angel" Saved This Toddler From a Terrifying Car Crash," 27 July 2016 My older self might yet agree with her, but my current self decided to be a different kind of brave. Neda Semnani, chicagotribune.com, "You have more in common with your partner's exes than you might think," 16 May 2018 Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter covering the White House, called Sanders brave for sitting through the jokes, which Haberman found to be too ad hominem. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Is This The Most Controversial WHCD Of All Time?," 30 Apr. 2018 Kanye West -- talk brave, a hip-hop star supporting Trump. Fox News, "Gutfeld: The White House had one of its best weeks ever," 29 Apr. 2018 John also confessed two additional facts: His brave facilitating skills were alcohol assisted. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Apropos of Nothing / Narcissism / Seriously? / News 'Spinning Singles' search for love atop a Ferris wheel—in 12 minutes or less," 9 Mar. 2018 These muses may seem fluent in the not-so-simple art of being themselves, but its their brave, head-high presentations that will pave the way for others to do the same. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "7 Bold Beauty Lessons to Take From New York Fashion Week," 15 Feb. 2018 Courier Journal sent one brave, intrepid reporter (me) to search for it on a rainy, windy day this week, but, alas, Bessie had vanished. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "A final chapter in the search for Louisville's (in)famous dead cow," 2 Mar. 2018

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 1

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

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brave

The first known use of brave was in 1546

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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)

: a Native American warrior

brave

adjective
\ ˈbrāv \
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

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Comments on brave

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