brave

1 of 3

adjective

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

brave

2 of 3

verb

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

brave

3 of 3

noun

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Not afraid but brave, not weak but empowered, not peons but partners. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2024 A couple of Instagram Stories shared by the tattoo studio show the Victorious alum putting on a brave face while getting tattooed, as well as her flexing her muscles to show off the end result. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 For travelers brave enough to face freezing temperatures, December brings the Christkindlmarket, a chance to lace up your skates and glide through iconic Grant Park at the Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon and ample opportunities to view Christmas lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo and Navy Pier. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, 21 Feb. 2024 So to anyone brave enough to host under these conditions, thank you. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 For more than a decade, Navalny fought Russian authoritarianism at the ballot box and on the streets as the most recognizable face of anti-Putinism, filtering support to candidates brave enough to stand against the Kremlin’s wishes. Regina Smyth, The Conversation, 16 Feb. 2024 Texas’s budget must be readjusted to prioritize our brave law enforcement officers and keep costs low for all families. Harrison Mantas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 That life is meant to be endured with a brave face, and that rest—much like praise—is earned by plowing through pain. Kristina Kasparian, Longreads, 6 Feb. 2024 But there will be more action taken to respond to the tragic death of the three brave U.S. service members. Fritz Farrow, ABC News, 4 Feb. 2024
Verb
Here are some posts from plunge participants and observers who braved the cold: More:Plungers participate in the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Bradford Beach on New Year’s Day 2024. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 For example, kids’ skiing snowsuits may be windproof and more insulated than standard snowsuits, which are more for braving the cold temps and playing in the snow than skiing down mountains. Katrina Cossey, Parents, 12 Feb. 2024 Related Articles Taylor Swift kisses Travis Kelce on the field after his Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl Heather Smith, 39, braved it last year. Heather Hollingsworth, The Denver Post, 12 Feb. 2024 Despite several days of relentless downpours in Los Angeles, not even record-breaking rainfall could dissuade partygoers from braving the city's waterlogged streets for an exclusive evening with Dior to celebrate the relaunch of Rouge Dior. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 6 Feb. 2024 Some are likely drawn to novel and intense experiences and get a thrill out of braving the cold. TIME, 2 Feb. 2024 With quick cuts to factory workers in goggles and hazmat suits dancing atop and along assembly lines, we’re made to believe that these workers braving the dangerous fumes of desperate love are doing their damndest to keep the heart beating smoothly for as long as possible. Vulture, 31 Jan. 2024 But many Somalis were willing to brave the stadium, which has a heavy security presence. Omar Faruk, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Jan. 2024 In the play, Dontrell Jones III braves the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage. John Coffren, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024
Noun
Today, with inflation running near 100 percent and an economy that could grind to a halt given a structural lack of hard currency, optimism is reserved for the brave. Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2022 The brave can check out the more sinister Curse of the Bayou walking attraction. Annie Alleman, Chicago Tribune, 12 Sep. 2022 Indeed, in the 19th century, Haiti was the land of the free and home of the brave to which other freedom fighters in the hemisphere, like Simón Bolívar, looked for inspiration. Marlene L. Daut, Essence, 24 Feb. 2022 In time, history will record which has done the most far-reaching harm to the United States, land of the free, home of the brave. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Dec. 2021 Some say that as a long-term bet, China is only for the brave. Gregor Stuart Hunter, Fortune, 9 Sep. 2021 The future is for the brave who move quickly and consider the open banking environment. Sandeepan Mukherjee, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 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, 19 Mar. 2021 Only the brave at heart will want to cross this new bridge near Porto. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 7 Oct. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of brave was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near brave

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

brave

1 of 3 adjective
1
: feeling or displaying no fear : courageous
2
: making a fine show : splendid
brave banners flying in the wind
bravely adverb

brave

2 of 3 verb
braved; braving
: to face or bear with courage
pioneers who braved the dangers of the frontier

brave

3 of 3 noun
: one who is brave
especially : a North American Indian warrior

More from Merriam-Webster on brave

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