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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Or what if, premise conceded, the show had been brave enough to give us a glimpse of Angela as a monster, a vigilante glowing with the unchecked power of police blues? Namwali Serpell, The New York Review of Books, "In the Time of Monsters," 24 Mar. 2020 Literally hours after news broke that Austin and Vanessa allegedly split up after almost nine years together, Vanessa had to put on a brave face for the premiere of her new movie, Bad Boys For Life. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Vanessa Hudgens Was All Smiles As She Walked the Red Carpet Following News Of Her Break Up With Austin Butler," 15 Jan. 2020 And on that March morning, after the murder, Roslyn joined the employees gathered inside King Office Supply … putting on a brave face. CBS News, "Was the murder of NYC millionaire Howard Pilmar a family affair?," 26 Oct. 2019 The team put on a brave face afterward, but even without judging off the hypercritical world of social media, Saturday was a day of dejection for the Illini. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "3 takeaways from Illinois’ 40-17 loss to Minnesota, including the run defense getting flattened yet again," 5 Oct. 2019 And now, thanks to a brave schoolgirl, their near-ceaseless march has been momentarily halted. Charlie Peters, National Review, "The Wisdom of Children Brings Hope in Gender Policy Debate," 5 May 2020 There are many brave people who are subjecting themselves to the risk of being infected to fight this pandemic. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "What could bring together Giants, A’s? Masks become priority for Bay Area teams," 25 Apr. 2020 Women who are brave enough to complain about domestic violence represent the tip of the iceberg. Ashwini Deshpande, Quartz India, "In locked down India, women fight coronavirus and domestic violence," 15 Apr. 2020 Of course, there are the few brave people who keep them up long past due, but unfortunately, not many of those people are celebrities who reside in Hollywood. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "Why "Until Tomorrow" Is Everywhere On Instagram Right Now," 31 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those who braved the trains had no trouble finding seats. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 9-11," 24 Apr. 2020 Look, the folks who braved the April snow to honk their horns in miles-long processions around the state Capitol were frustrated. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Hey, Michigan Capitol protesters: Next time stay in your cars," 16 Apr. 2020 Iraqi protesters who had braved gunfire for months were overshadowed by a brewing conflict in Iraq between the United States and Iran. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why coronavirus clampdown is proving risky for Arab regimes," 9 Apr. 2020 Six of the city’s seven councilmen were in the crowd of about 75 people who braved the cold and snowy weather to learn more about the district and this levy. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Residents learn more about 6.9-mill levy for South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools," 10 Feb. 2020 For those of us who have ventured to the aforementioned Howlin Ray’s, or who braved the bonkers line for Hattie B’s pop-up at Lardo in September, the absence of a truly hot Nashville hot chicken in Portland has been an occasional point of confusion. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "New restaurant backed by NFL lineman Ndamukong Suh will give away 1,000 fried-chicken sandwiches Saturday," 1 Nov. 2019 NMC Exposure Underscoring the cash crunch, NMC is braving the market mayhem triggered by the coronavirus pandemic to sell its distribution business, people familiar with the matter said. Dinesh Nair, Bloomberg.com, "NMC Lenders Tally Losses as ADCB Taps Lazard to Recover Funds," 5 May 2020 There is something at once funny in watching officials plead with a young female activist to leave and brave in her refusal to do so until others can join her. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Infiltrators’ is an inventive hybrid of immigration drama and heist thriller," 1 May 2020 Not since the civil rights era, when African-Americans in the South braved death threats to exercise their right to vote, has a voting line embodied this commitment more profoundly than on April 7 in Milwaukee. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, "Why We Need Postal Democracy," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The best of the best, the bravest of the brave are not supposed to acknowledge vulnerability on any level. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "Running to Home Base got this Navy SEAL back home all the way," 25 July 2019 At one table, cowboys are drinking coffee, while Snow White, an Indian brave, an astronaut, and Goofy are standing in line with their trays. James Marcus, The New Yorker, "A Dark Ride," 29 Oct. 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

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 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

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Time Traveler for brave

Time Traveler

The first known use of brave was in 1546

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Statistics for brave

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brave. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for brave

brave

adjective
How to pronounce brave (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on brave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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