bra·​vu·​ra | \ brə-ˈvyu̇r-ə How to pronounce bravura (audio) , brä-, -ˈvu̇r- \

Definition of bravura

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 music : a musical passage requiring exceptional agility and technical skill in execution
2 : a florid brilliant style
3 : a show of daring or brilliance



Definition of bravura (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : marked by a dazzling display of skill a bravura performance
2 : ornate, showy bravura prose

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of bravura in a Sentence

Adjective a truly bravura performance of the ballet that brought the crowd to its feet
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Renée Zellweger, who grew up in Katy, Texas, as the daughter of European immigrants, captured her second Oscar on Sunday night, this time as best actress for her bravura star turn in Judy, about the troubled life of musical legend Judy Garland. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Renée Zellweger captures an Oscar for ‘Judy,’ becoming the third Texan to be awarded best actress," 10 Feb. 2020 But, as the film goes on, its bravura moments go increasingly to Driver: while Nicole finds stability, Charlie falls apart (and sings a Sondheim showstopper). Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars 2020 Spotlight: The Actresses," 3 Feb. 2020 The audience, especially a young, wide-eyed couple visiting from England, revels in Newton’s campy bravura performance. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Rat Pack to Fame Monster: The Rise, Fall and Lucrative Rebirth of the Las Vegas Residency," 28 Jan. 2020 In a bravura opening sequence, Wick utilizes every tool at his disposal to slow down his pursuers, weaponizing the likes of a library book, a belt, and a horse to make his eventual escape. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch (and skip) in theaters and on Netflix this weekend," 24 Jan. 2020 Zellweger matches it in her own way, through hair and makeup but mostly by channeling a kind of terrified bravura that’s riveting to watch., "In ‘Judy,’ Renée Zellweger is Judy Garland - The Boston Globe," 26 Sep. 2019 Will win: The Eddie Murphy comeback narrative feels strong, though Taron could pull a Bohemian Rhapsody redux for his bravura Rocketman turn. Kristen Baldwin,, "2020 Golden Globe winner predictions: EW picks who should and who will win," 2 Jan. 2020 Queen Latifah threw herself into playing Ursula with happy bravura, but the animated character was more dazzling. Hal Boedeker,, "‘Little Mermaid Live!’: Awkward salute to a classic," 6 Nov. 2019 But the quip, uttered by Joaquin Phoenix in a bent, bravura performance as the DC Comics villain in his early years, could easily be a tagline for the festival itself., "At the Toronto International Film Festival, movies grapple with a confounding present by revisiting the past," 13 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bravura.' 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 bravura


1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bravura


Italian, literally, bravery, from bravare to show off — more at bravado


adjective derivative of bravura entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bravura

Time Traveler for bravura

Time Traveler

The first known use of bravura was in 1757

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bravura

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bravura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bravura


How to pronounce bravura (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bravura

: great skill and energy in doing something (such as performing on a stage)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bravura

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bravura

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bravura

Spanish Central: Translation of bravura

Comments on bravura

What made you want to look up bravura? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!