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 [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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from brave

Adjective

bravely adverb

Verb

braver noun

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 This kind of drug use might not be as brave or unfettered as Hart’s. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "Is There a Case for Legalizing Heroin?," 29 Apr. 2021 Instead, a brave cast member would step up and fill the role by reading lines directly from the script. Olivia Devaraj, Star Tribune, "Every Minnesota school should be 'seizure smart'," 27 Apr. 2021 And sure, Sam is brave and honest and genuine just like Steve was. Erik Kain, Forbes, "The 5 Biggest Problems With ‘The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’," 27 Apr. 2021 Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Chernobyl today and warned against further parts of his country turning into ghost towns as the continuing conflict with Russia cripples the Donbas, whence some of those brave rescue workers hailed. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, "Chernobyl 35 years later," 27 Apr. 2021 Anatomy began, the ABC medical drama seemed brave for choosing to center the unimaginably horrid effect of COVID-19 so thoroughly. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Praise The Grey’s Anatomy Gods, Meredith Finally Woke Up. Now What?," 23 Apr. 2021 But the legend of Pickett’s brave Virginians marching heroically to their doom has become more entrenched with time—one central to the Lost Cause view of the war. John Reeves, WSJ, "Five Best: Books on the Confederates’ Lost Cause," 23 Apr. 2021 The ministry continued to celebrate Shelke for his brave act with a standing round of applause from their staff and an in-person congratulations from the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), as shown in a video shared on their Twitter account. NBC News, "Video shows man rescuing child who fell onto train tracks as oncoming train barrels into station," 21 Apr. 2021 And the ninth — Jimmy Lai, about whom more in a moment — is an ardent and brave supporter of democracy. The Editors, National Review, "On Hong Kong, Stay Strong," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While some daring cyclists occasionally brave the sidewalks or a narrow shoulder before darting to a side street, most stay away. BostonGlobe.com, "Bikes on the McGrath Highway? The state’s preparing to redesign the urban artery," 23 Apr. 2021 That meant Yu had to hire a lawyer and brave a hearing at the Planning Commission. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. ice cream shop hopeful sees dreams melted by city's small business bureaucracy," 21 Apr. 2021 This was the kind of meet the 2,500 gymnastics fans allowed in the building had come to expect and brave a pandemic to see. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah gymnastics team posts a season-high in winning regional and advancing to NCAA Championships," 3 Apr. 2021 However, there are still passionate clog lovers who brave the cold and snow with style and caution. Anthony Marcusa, chicagotribune.com, "The best classic clog," 3 Apr. 2021 But those who couldn’t leave the house easily — or at all — weren’t able to zip down to their doctor’s office or brave the daunting lines at Dodger Stadium. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, "Grass-roots groups are helping the homebound get vaccines. They’re racing against the clock," 30 Mar. 2021 My laundry is basically always going because of an endless cycle of washing the many sweaty layers needed to brave the outdoors. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "As the longest winter ever nears an end (we think), conflicting perspectives abound," 27 Mar. 2021 More often than not, these young men have been pushed to drink large amounts of alcohol, or to brave some enervating physical trial. Chris Quintana, USA Today, "Two fraternity deaths in two months. COVID didn't stop hazing - it hid it away from 'watchful eyes'," 27 Mar. 2021 Not afraid to brave the cold, Weeber has learned a few tips after spending the first part of this winter in her van. oregonlive, "How an Oregon woman built a camper van and left everything behind," 15 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prada and Simone Rocha showed split-sole options, while Matthew Williams’s hoof-like platform at Givenchy is truly for the brave. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The 10 Most Important Accessory Trends for Fall 2021," 19 Mar. 2021 Only the brave at heart will want to cross this new bridge near Porto. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Portugal Is Opening the World's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge — and It Looks Absolutely Terrifying," 7 Oct. 2020 Many respectable Americans sadly are allowing fear of ridicule and bullying to silence their voices in this land of the free and home of the brave. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: Free to speak?," 27 Sep. 2020 But the movement started with Burke and a 12-year-old brave enough to speak up. USA Today, "The women who made their mark this past 100 years didn’t achieve despite adversity. They achieved because of it.," 13 Aug. 2020 Those who warned against the coming of fascism will congratulate themselves for saving the home of the free and redeeming the land of the brave, which somehow lurched towards the brink. Samuel Moyn, The New York Review of Books, "The Trouble with Comparisons," 19 May 2020 Every year, a crowd of brave, bedecked daredevils lines up along the ocean shore in Virginia Beach, and charges headfirst into the frigid winter waters. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Valentine's stories that will make you believe in love," 15 Feb. 2020 There’s a kind of brave and, perhaps cocky, transparency in choosing a dress that is available off the rack. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "At second state dinner, Melania Trump’s dress is as quiet and dutiful as her," 21 Sep. 2019 Beside him was one Henry Coxwell, who piloted the balloon; of the brave and experienced Mr. Coxwell, however, not a trace remains onscreen. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Fanciful Flamboyance of “The Aeronauts”," 29 Nov. 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.

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 2

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on brave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!