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 Bain’s investment is a brave bet on a sector enduring its biggest crisis ever, as well as on the Virgin Australia business itself. Angus Whitley, Fortune, "Bain Capital makes a giant bet on the beleaguered airline industry," 26 June 2020 Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Underwood was among the brave individuals who sacrificed everything. Alejandro Serrano Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Security guard gunned down at Oakland federal building honored by family, friends," 19 June 2020 After reviewing the last few posts by Pinocchio, Facebook has made the difficult but brave decision to leave them up. Jay Martel, The New Yorker, "Facebook Defends Free Speech," 18 June 2020 In Greek art and literature, Amazons were invariably depicted as brave and beautiful, but always armed and dangerous. National Geographic, "The fierce Amazons were more than just a myth—they were real," 18 June 2020 Marlys, now a job coach for adults with special needs, is like a Diane Keaton character, shyly retreating behind large glasses and a fall of long hair, but occasionally making brave outbursts. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, "Can an Unloved Child Learn to Love?," 18 June 2020 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his top diplomat sought to put a brave face on their failure to secure a spot on the United Nations Security Council in one of the Canadian leader’s biggest defeats yet on the world stage. Time, "Why Canada’s Failure to Win U.N. Security Council Seat Is a Huge Loss for Justin Trudeau," 18 June 2020 That truth, says Sussman, would come out during the wrongful death suits — in the testimony of one brave police officer. James Brown, CBS News, "Defending DJ: Was the fatal shooting of a Pace University football player justified?," 22 June 2019 And these figures, in turn, gained rapid celebrity on the right as brave truth-tellers to a hysterical orthodoxy. Ari Schulman, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus and the Right’s Scientific Counterrevolution," 15 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Starring Jimmy Fallon would brave snowstorms, rain, or oppressive heat (eliciting that famous New York aroma of urine and rotting garbage)—for a chance to laugh and get a peek at the celebrity guests. Elias Williams, National Geographic, "New York’s arts scene remains shut down indefinitely—can it evolve and survive?," 15 June 2020 Organizations are also stepping up to help documentarians brave the moment. USA TODAY, "Documentarians use platform to film nationwide protests: 'If you have a camera, you got to shoot it'," 16 June 2020 Luckily for all of us having to brave the sweats out there, Amazon’s top-selling summer maxi dress comes in enough pretty patterns to see you through the entire season—and at under $30 a pop. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "Amazon's Top-Selling Summer Swing Dress Is the Comfiest Thing We've Seen All Day," 16 June 2020 Army officials defended the move, saying the cadets would have had to brave the health risks of traveling back to campus anyway for their final medical checks, equipment and training. Time, "President Trump Delivers West Point Graduation Speech as Relationships With Military Leaders Grow Strained," 13 June 2020 As the chief of Missoula County Search and Rescue, Blattner oversees a unit of 32 other Montanans who brave harsh conditions in dangerous country to assist adventurers. Tom Fowlks, Field & Stream, "A Day in the Life of a Search-and-Rescue Team," 3 June 2020 Restaurants and diners braved intermittent bursts of rain crossing Northeast Ohio on Friday to head out for a bite and a drink. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Patios open: A look at Ohio City on first day of outdoor dining," 15 May 2020 About 100 health care workers braved the Friday afternoon heat as 15 military jets flew side-by-side over Valleywise Health Medical Center in central Phoenix. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "'It's good for our souls;' Military flyover honors health care workers as they fight COVID-19," 1 May 2020 Who would brave mud, late-night pull-downs, rats in the straw-bales, leaky caravans, temperamental animals, lack of loos, lack of baths, unless they had been born to it? The Economist, "The triumph of magic Obituary: Nell Gifford died on December 8th," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The best of the best, the bravest of the brave are not supposed to acknowledge vulnerability on any level. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "Running to Home Base got this Navy SEAL back home all the way," 25 July 2019 At one table, cowboys are drinking coffee, while Snow White, an Indian brave, an astronaut, and Goofy are standing in line with their trays. James Marcus, The New Yorker, "A Dark Ride," 29 Oct. 2019 Towards the end of the night, the weather cleared up and the brave ventured outside for an alfresco nightcap. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Even Rain Couldn’t Dampen the Frick Collection’s Spring Garden Party," 30 May 2019 This frustration with our existence being heralded as brave has been voiced by various communities from those with chronic illness, to the trans community, to those who have disabilities. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Posing Nude Isn't "Brave"," 23 May 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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Time Traveler for brave

Time Traveler

The first known use of brave was in 1546

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Statistics for brave

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for brave

brave

adjective
How to pronounce brave (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on brave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brave

Spanish Central: Translation of brave

Nglish: Translation of brave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brave for Arabic Speakers

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