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

Predictions are for the brave at this unsettled stage: Consider that Barty just won the French Open, her first Grand Slam singles title, without facing a top-10 player. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams’s Coach Says She Is Pain Free. Watch Out, Wimbledon?," 29 June 2019 Perhaps an everyday occurrence for a first responder, but the newlywed couple from Mississippi vacationing in Perdido Key have the utmost gratitude for this brave act. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "How Perdido Key Beach Community Is Recovering After Massive Condo Fire," 27 June 2019 Such was the case on Sunday when France’s Valerie Gauvin scored a brave, leaping goal in heavy traffic and collided with Barbara, the Brazilian goalkeeper. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "World Cup’s VAR replay system tarnishes a great event," 25 June 2019 The ultimate rite of passage for a Vespa enthusiast is long-term travel: a deeply personal journey made by the brave. Muhammad Fadli, National Geographic, "See the wild, customized creations of Indonesia’s ‘rebel riders’," 4 Apr. 2019 For someone that’s brave enough to embrace themselves, show themselves in a photograph, to then have Facebook turn around and remove their image—that has a negative effect. Vogue, "Facebook Censors the “Behind the Scars” Photo Series, Spotlighting a Larger Body Acceptance Issue," 14 June 2019 The Sons of Veterans is the body upon whose members will fall the mantle of the Grand Army when the last of its brave gatherings has gone to his reward. Evening Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 1924: San Diego hosts Civil War veterans," 9 June 2019 Wives, sons and daughters of those brave men can obtain a patch honoring their service by emailing dday75@actionemb.com with a local address until the patches run out. Fox News, "D-Day combat patches reproduced by California company honoring US soldiers," 7 June 2019 This was an extraordinarily brave, extraordinarily risky act. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Quality of Courage: An Oslo Journal, Part II," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Under the cover of the Darien's thick canopy, it's estimated tens of thousands of migrants from around the world brave the dangerous journey. Ines Novacic, CBS News, "The untold stories behind the headlines of America's immigration debate," 5 July 2019 The family was unable to present themselves to immigration authorities to claim asylum and instead braved the floodwaters to reach the United States, wrote Julia Le Duc, the La Jornada reporter. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, "The father and daughter who drowned at the border dove into the river in desperation," 26 June 2019 Hospital officials said more than 5,000 people braved the spring storms to offer salutes to the living and the lost with pens in a rainbow of colors representing awareness of a dozen forms of cancer. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Cancer center topped out as St. Elizabeth caps it with a steel beam of hope," 26 June 2019 The family was unable to present themselves to immigration authorities to claim asylum and instead braved the floodwaters to reach the United States, wrote Julia Le Duc, the La Jornada reporter. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Father and daughter who drowned at the border waded into the river in desperation," 26 June 2019 On June 9th security forces ransacked the University of Khartoum and killed at least four of the few protesters brave enough to man the remaining barricades. The Economist, "A struggle for power in Sudan could lead to civil war," 14 June 2019 For Pinterest and Zoom Video, braving the public waters may be less an act of audacity than an act of necessity. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Pinterest and Zoom Aim to Jump In, Not Overboard," 18 Apr. 2019 She's braved heat from both liberals and conservatives who say her record as a prosecutor contradicts her more recent rebranding as a progressive Democrat. Wired Staff, WIRED, "WIRED Suggests Updated Theme Songs for Presidential Hopefuls," 10 June 2019 Timed with New York’s Winter Antiques Show, which Buatta had chaired for many years, 300 invited guests braved a wickedly cold night to laugh, cry, and reminisce about their favorite decorator and prankster. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "Inside Mario Buatta's Final High Society Farewell," 23 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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 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

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

11 Jul 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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