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

The results and the facts will be put out very shortly, but these were very brave officers. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump calls the Pittsburgh shooting “anti-Semitic” and a “wicked act of mass murder”," 27 Oct. 2018 These students, who have made this very brave commitment to make aliyah on their own, need a clean, safe and comfortable place to live and study. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Artwork auctioned at event honoring Israel's 70th anniversary," 21 June 2018 Ellen Pao was very brave to stand up to Kleiner and that was a start. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full video and transcript: Diversity in tech panel at Code 2018," 9 June 2018 In much the same way Toby was putting on a brave face for Kate, Beth is fronting with Randall. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Reveals the Heartbreaking Promise Miguel Made to Jack Before He Died," 24 Oct. 2018 Is there any creature that can daunt the brave barbarian? Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: James Baldwin’s Tale of Childhood in Harlem," 23 Aug. 2018 Trafficking in bombastic manufactured outrage, it's politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech at John McCain's Funeral," 1 Sep. 2018 To forge new paths, scientists must be brave enough to try new ideas—and confident enough to risk being proven wrong. Angela V. Olinto, WSJ, "NASA’s New Probe Sails Into the Solar Wind," 9 Aug. 2018 While not particularly long, the narrative provides an easy way to try to master all of the game’s random trick shots, which will come in handy for those brave enough to venture online and play in competitions with strangers. Todd Martens, latimes.com, "'Mario Tennis Aces' and the love of low-stakes competition," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Challengers dart from the Mad Tea Party to Space Mountain while braving the Florida heat, swarms of tourists and the occasional broken toe. Nancy Coleman, WSJ, "‘Every Minute Matters’: Disney Diehards Race to Hit 49 Rides in One Day," 7 Aug. 2018 And with that, Ferguson—and her red carpet–ready pout—are ready to brave the simmering city heat. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Model Hannah Ferguson’s Guide to Her Magic Matte Red Lip," 24 July 2018 At the end of March, Kim Kardashian West braved the Los Angeles heat in a pair of particularly hideous high-heeled thong sandals designed by her husband. Indya Brown, The Cut, "Which Pair of Ugly Shoes Is Right for You?," 23 Apr. 2018 At the female-only campus of Effat University in Jiddah, dozens of young Saudi students dressed in long, loose black robes – still the required dress code – braved the afternoon heat for a chance to learn how to drive on their own. Aya Batrawy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Saudi Arabia's women test newfound freedom behind the wheel," 7 Mar. 2018 National Guard and city employees stacked 5,000 sandbags under an interstate overpass Friday afternoon, near where floodwaters swept into the city in 2016; ordinary civilians braved the rain and wind and falling trees to help. Claire Galofaro, Fox News, "Deluged by Hurricane Matthew, rural town waits for Florence," 15 Sep. 2018 Christian Gralau, a Clear Creek High School A/V student, and his mom, Melissa Gralau, captured these shots as League City residents braved last Tuesday's storms to see the fireworks. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Cool videos capture lightning behind League City fireworks," 10 July 2018 Business has been slower in the colder months, although some will brave the wind and rain for their weekly fix. Jerome Campbell And Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Hey — what happened to spring?," 20 Apr. 2018 In the final minutes of 2017, Neil Diamond stood before more than a million revelers braving the subzero chill to celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City’s Times Square. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "Neil Diamond's Parkinson's Fight: Inside the Music Legend's Triumphant Last Tour," 31 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The braves demonstrated their prowess with the bow and arrow, the Pilgrims with their muskets. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Pilgrims Take Manhattan," 21 Nov. 2018 If a new version of the Rift isn't currently in the works, Oculus is putting up quite the brave (and counterproductive) front for the sake of PC VR fans. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Oculus reconfirms “future version of Rift” amid PC cancellation rumors," 23 Oct. 2018 And advocates working with the team had painted worry stones with words like strength and brave for the survivors to carry into court the next day. Jason Schmidt, Glamour, "The Army of Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar," 30 Oct. 2018 Her brave and good men regard her admission into the Union as a matter of life and death. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Like Bush and Obama, Trump gets stuck on immigration," 21 June 2018 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

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

10 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on brave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brave

Spanish Central: Translation of brave

Nglish: Translation of brave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brave for Arabic Speakers

Comments on brave

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