brave

1 of 3

adjective

braver; bravest
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
bravely adverb

brave

2 of 3

verb

braved; braving

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
braver noun

brave

3 of 3

noun

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Who is the real villain here: the hospital secretly inflicting irreversible damage on children or the doctor brave enough to speak out? The Editors, National Review, 13 June 2024 The record, however, is crystal clear on one count: Quinlan was very, very brave. Erik Ofgang, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 June 2024
Verb
For 56 years, biologists with the nonprofit Point Blue Conservation Science have braved wind, fog and isolation at the 211-acre National Wildlife Refuge to build a rich wildlife database. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 4 June 2024 The Los Angeles group’s Southern California anthems resonated with a Northern California audience that braved heavy traffic into the facility but were ecstatic to sing along. Nathaniel Levine, Sacramento Bee, 3 June 2024
Noun
Still, Marler braves on; he’s got his team to watch. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, 1 June 2024 Today, with inflation running near 100 percent and an economy that could grind to a halt given a structural lack of hard currency, optimism is reserved for the brave. Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2022 See all Example Sentences for brave 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of brave was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near brave

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

brave

1 of 3 adjective
1
: feeling or displaying no fear : courageous
2
: making a fine show : splendid
brave banners flying in the wind
bravely adverb

brave

2 of 3 verb
braved; braving
: to face or bear with courage
pioneers who braved the dangers of the frontier

brave

3 of 3 noun
: one who is brave
especially : a warrior of an Indigenous people of North America

More from Merriam-Webster on brave

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