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

Advertising Jaywalking is only for the bravest of patrons. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Outside Masters, Washington Road bustles in its tacky glory," 13 Apr. 2019 Muslim women make up a vibrant community of individuals who are independently minded, brave, inspiring, resilient, creative, capable, and unapologetically themselves. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 Many brave people have publicly shared stories about their experiences navigating mental health conditions. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Mental Health Awareness Means Talking About All Types of Mental Illness," 29 Mar. 2019 History of Memorial Day Memorial Day was created to honor the brave people who died while serving in the U.S. military. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Memorial Day? Here's What You Need to Know About the Observance," 1 Mar. 2019 Geography teacher and cross-country coach Scott Beigel, 35, helped students enter a locked classroom to avoid the gunman, and paid for the brave act with his life. Kelli Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, "ESPYs to honor coaches killed in Florida school shooting," 13 June 2018 Over a year before #MeToo permeated the international conversation, journalist Jessica Luther reported on ballerina Lissa Curtis’ exceedingly brave decision to hold her rapist — her former ballet instructor — accountable in court. Emily Perper, Longreads, "On Pointe: Reading on Ballet," 23 May 2018 At the Heart of Gold explores at the ground level the scores of brave women who came forward from USA Gymnastics to accuse Larry Nassar of decades of abuse. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Best Documentaries of 2019 That Are Already Changing Everything," 20 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, Lucas gets brave and holds a slingshot like a weapon. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer Is Finally Here and I Am Not Okay," 20 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instagram beams everyone into each other's rooms without them ever having to brave the train. Bridget Read, Vogue, "She Would Have Loved This," 26 Oct. 2018 This weekend dozens of stars braved New York's winter temperatures to witness the unveiling of a $25 billon neighborhood. House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Hudson Yards, New York's $25 Billion Neighborhood," 19 Mar. 2019 Montana residents braved the third day of subzero temperatures and biting wind chill. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "Snow in San Francisco? Mild cities don’t escape winter storm," 6 Feb. 2019 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex braved the snow to greet fans before a tour of Bristol Old Vic, which just happens to be the world's oldest working theatre (something that a former professional actress can truly appreciate? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry's Reaction to Fan in Bristol Showing Him a Picture of Princess Diana Was So Emotional," 2 Feb. 2019 Yesterday morning in Bristol, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry braved the snow to greet members of the public who had lined the streets for the royals' visit. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Reason Meghan Markle Holds Her Gloves But Doesn't Actually Wear Them," 2 Feb. 2019 Voters braved the threat of terrorism Monday, with more than 20,000 soldiers and police deployed to protect them. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Philippine Vote on Muslim Self-Rule Puts Christians on Edge," 21 Jan. 2019 The two-person crew braved battering winds and freezing temperatures after their cockpit canopy detached in mid-flight, leaving them exposed to the elements, and landed the jet at a nearby military airfield. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Cockpit Canopy Falls Off F-15 at 30,000 Feet, Pilot Lands the Damn Jet Anyway," 7 Jan. 2019 Reluctant to brave the gangs, the army has so far mainly patrolled the streets by day. The Economist, "Mourning MarielleLessons from a murder in Rio de Janeiro," 22 Mar. 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

16 May 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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