cour·​age | \ˈkər-ij, ˈkə-rij\

Definition of courage 

: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

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Choose the Right Synonym for courage

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. the courage to support unpopular causes mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience. a challenge that will test your mettle spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened. her spirit was unbroken by failure resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends. the resolution of pioneer women tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat. held to their beliefs with great tenacity

Examples of courage in a Sentence

Eunice Kennedy Shriver … didn't buy into the propaganda of her day that women had to be soft and submissive. That took courage back then, because she grew up in a family that expected a lot from the boys and very little from the girls. — Maria Shriver, Time, 26 Oct. 2009 Sometimes when I debate whether to risk my individuality or conform, the memory of my son's picture brings me courage. — Sue Monk Kidd, Reader's Digest, August 1990 But as long as your courage holds out you may as well go right ahead making a fool of yourself. All brave men are fools. — Robert Frost 17 Apr. 1915, in Selected Letters of Robert Frost1964 She has the courage to support unpopular causes. It takes courage to stand up for your rights.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trimmer, knowing how important the bedframe was, at first couldn’t muster up the courage to break the news to his mother. Steve Annear,, "‘REWARD!’: Student scrambling to get back heirloom bedframe plucked from the curbside," 14 June 2018 Fultz, finally mustering up the courage to shoot the dice in the board game, promptly breaks Joel Embiid’s character’s face. Ej Smith,, "'Game of Zones' pokes fun at Sixers Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz in latest episode," 24 May 2018 With his pal on board as a trusty assistant director, Kelfer mustered the courage to cold-email Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, inquiring about the legality of an independent combine. Jake Fischer,, "How a Summer Internship Spawned the Newest Venue for NBA Hopefuls," 21 May 2018 This will require a quiet strange courage, as still as a lake, and as deep. Claire Comstock-gay, The Cut, "Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of July 9," 9 July 2018 That takes more courage than most public people possess. Paul Daugherty,, "Daugherty: Stick to Sports? Do you only ever talk about what you do for a living?," 26 June 2018 That takes more courage than lobbing insults from the safe seats. Christine M. Flowers,, "My Meek Mill views haven't changed (sorry, Malcolm Jenkins); but I'm glad I listened to the other side | Christine Flowers," 3 May 2018 The limestone face of the building features six sculpted figures that represent courage, memory, peace, victory, liberty and patriotism, according to the memorial's website. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Why there's scaffolding around much of the Indiana War Memorial," 13 July 2018 Iowa’s current governor, Kim Reynolds, praised Mr. Ray’s leadership. ‘‘His civility, courage, and common-sense governing set a high standard for those who followed,’’ Reynolds said Sunday., "Robert Ray, 89; helped Vietnam refugees relocate to Iowa," 8 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for courage

Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, from quer, coer heart, from Latin cor — more at heart

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Statistics for courage

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for courage

The first known use of courage was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for courage



English Language Learners Definition of courage

: the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous


cour·​age | \ˈkər-ij \

Kids Definition of courage

: the ability to meet danger and difficulties with firmness

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More from Merriam-Webster on courage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for courage

Spanish Central: Translation of courage

Nglish: Translation of courage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on courage

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


full of whispering sounds

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