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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Not only is the public entitled to this information, but this footage overwhelmingly shows just how brave, skilled and dedicated our cops are every single day in service of the people of New York City. Michael R. Sisak, The Seattle Times, "NY court: Public allowed to see police body camera footage," 19 Feb. 2019 The USS Philadelphia ran aground, and Tripoli captured its U.S. sailors, before a brave action burned the ship. Eric Grynaviski, Washington Post, "So Dennis Rodman may be in Singapore for the summit. That’s not as strange as it sounds.," 9 June 2018 Now Corey has been convicted by Commonwealth Attorney Joe Platania and the courts of a crime for his brave actions to protect Charlottesville. Angela Helm, The Root, "Black Charlottesville, Va., Flame Thrower Found Guilty of Disorderly Conduct, Sentenced to 20 Days in Jail," 9 June 2018 Shaw has been publicly lauded by celebrities and politicians for his brave actions. Todd Johnson /, NBC News, "Trump thanks James Shaw Jr. for 'heroic actions' in Waffle House shooting," 14 May 2018 But many people aren’t as brave or savvy as Daniel. Jim Wyss And Cody Weddle, miamiherald, "Venezuela's Maduro aims to turn empty stomachs into full ballot boxes | Miami Herald," 16 May 2018 The truth is, Armstrong was a quiet, thoughtful, and brave engineer. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "First Man is a first-rate movie about America’s most revered astronaut," 12 Oct. 2018 There are a couple other less-worn trails, and even more should open up after some brave racers hit the snow Wednesday. Author: Kat Sorensen, Anchorage Daily News, "Mount Marathon race trail has it all: snow, lush vegetation, flowing water and lots of dust," 3 July 2018 There were patriotic, heroic, brave young men who died on the outside of the wall defending their country. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Proposed Alamo plan would overhaul heart of downtown but is stirring controversy," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And possible temptation to snuggle into something familiar when braving some time alone might be better for you. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "She really wants to see an old flame. Please talk her out of it.," 2 Jan. 2019 Highlights from Wolf Parade, Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, and the beautiful Fort Worth crowd who braved the not-so-beautiful weather Saturday. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "How to have the perfect weekend at Fortress Fest: Stay glued to these can't-miss acts | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 Apr. 2018 Karl and Carol Sharicz were planning to spend Saturday night in a Boston hotel after braving Friday evening in their unheated Sea Avenue home, which lost power about noon Friday. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "Coastal residents wait for flooding and winds to subside," 4 Mar. 2018 Instead of rushing inside to escape the snow, Meghan and Harry generously spoke to people throughout the crowd, and seemed happy to make conversation with everyone who had braved the cold. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Greeting Children in the Snow Will Melt Your Heart," 1 Feb. 2019 From asking fans for parenting advice, to greeting the sweetest group of young children who were all wrapped up to brave the cold weather, Meghan and Harry weren't afraid of a little snow during their visit. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Was Shown a Photo of Princess Diana in Bristol & His Response Was So Emotional," 1 Feb. 2019 Among the Mexican reporters now mingling with the crowd, there is great curiosity around how many migrants plan to brave the U.S. border despite Trump’s threats. Liliana Frankel, Teen Vogue, "A Day in the Life of the Migrant Caravan," 16 Nov. 2018 If stocks didn’t offer the prospect of higher return, investors wouldn’t want to brave the uncertainty of owning them. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Sometimes, It’s Bonds For the Long Run," 2 Nov. 2018 Mere muggles may be afraid to brave an amusement park in this summer heat. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Taste test: New Butterbeer Ice Cream at Harry Potter's Wizarding World," 12 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brave

Statistics for brave

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brave

The first known use of brave was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up brave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!