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 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

This brave electronic leap has led the 49-year-old with countless golfing mountains scaled to go topless, tell hilarious stories (trust us) about public defecation, creatively needle Tiger Woods, offer random dating advice and so much more. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: ‘Fun Phil’ Mickelson dives into social media while helping San Diego kids," 30 Aug. 2019 Taken together, the best Hollywood westerns come as close as anything ever has to comprising America’s creation myth, a tale of brave men and women who rode toward Monument Valley to make better lives for themselves and their children. Terry Teachout, National Review, "Western Movies," 22 Aug. 2019 Frustrated by such vagueness, a few brave astronomers have tried to squint through the muddled data to spy more precise answers. Corey S. Powell, Scientific American, "The Hunt Is on for Alpha Centauri’s Planets," 5 Aug. 2019 That’s a very brave step for someone traumatized so young. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: An alleged sexual assault victim may have lied to help acquit R. Kelly in 2008. Her cooperation this time is an act of bravery.," 18 July 2019 The brave women who take a stand against this type of abuse are helping to bring about a world in which everyone’s bodily integrity is respected. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Woman sues boxer Adrien Broner over Cleveland nightclub assault," 4 June 2019 But my little man was calm, collected and so brave. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Boy severely bitten in face by dog has first of several reconstructive surgeries," 26 June 2018 His daughter looked painfully thin and sad, while his son tried to put on a brave face to keep his sister from crying. Melissa Del Bosque, ProPublica, "The Case That Made an Ex-ICE Attorney Realize the Government Was Relying on False “Evidence” Against Migrants," 13 Aug. 2019 There are a few terrible men who bring the disaster about, and a few brave and all-knowing ones, who ultimately save Europe from becoming uninhabitable and who tell the world the truth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The World Isn't Over Chernobyl," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The allure of true crime compelled guests to brave the bitter cold to the screening downtown at Metrograph. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine Attend The New York Premiere for TNT’s I Am The Night," 24 Jan. 2019 Some fans listened, while others braved it in their seats. John Leyba, The Know, "PHOTOS: Peter Frampton’s farewell tour sells out Red Rocks," 1 Aug. 2019 On a recent weekday, patrons filled most of the market’s indoor tables while others braved a heat wave to eat outdoors, choosing from such vendors as Neopol Savory Smokery, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Hex Ferments, Ejji Ramen and others. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Concern grows about Belvedere Square’s future as North Baltimore neighborhood anchor," 23 July 2019 Crocodile Mile is a raft slide that families can brave together. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Illinois' biggest water park, Raging Waves, is a less hectic alternative to the Dells," 19 July 2019 Their every campsite was named for a saint, and Escalante braved the unknown without fear, confident that he was armored by God. Bruce Berger, WSJ, "‘Escalante’s Dream’ Review: Long Road Through the West," 12 July 2019 But where are the owners and general managers brave enough to step up and give Hammon a shot? Greg Moore, azcentral, "Why is only one woman leading an NBA Summer League coaching staff?," 11 July 2019 As the final guests braved the rain to depart at about 2:00 a.m, Vanity Fair closed the door on another epic night in the French Riviera. Catherine Scott, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Attend Vanity Fair's Cannes After-Party," 21 May 2019 More than 140 volunteers from the Finish Line corporate office braved the heat to help build on Thursday. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Volunteers build east Indianapolis church a playground in one day," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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 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 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 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 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 For an even more heartbreaking read, see this brave and haunting book by Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, who scooped up the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. NBC News, "Obsessed with 'Fleabag', 'Big Little Lies' or 'Chernobyl'? Binge on one of these books next.," 24 June 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 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

5 Sep 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)

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

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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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