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

The idea of standing up for the powerless, loving people, having hope and keeping courage in difficult times. Jeneé Osterheldt, kansascity, "KC mom's family feels the Force of love and courage in 'Star Wars' | The Kansas City Star," 24 May 2018 Remembering the Holocaust: Each year, the Friends of the Maltz Museum honor the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, and also celebrate the courage of those who lived to tell harrowing stories of survival. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "South Euclid's Mercury Theatre Co. celebrates 20 years; 'Pinocchio' starts new season June 1," 10 May 2018 Many have exhibited great courage in the midst of adversity. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Rice University honoring O.J. Brigance with Courage award," 4 May 2018 The shock is magical yet emotionally unsettling, reminding you of people’s courage in the face of oppression, history’s erasures, and the way the past recedes into darkness. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "12 Galleries to Visit Now in Chelsea," 26 Apr. 2018 Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have never been mistaken for paradigms of moral courage. Jay Willis, GQ, "Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell Aren't Going to Protect Robert Mueller," 10 Apr. 2018 President Donald Trump thanked first responders for their courage on Twitter. Rebecca Hazen, Houston Chronicle, "West University Place conducts drainage study," 7 July 2018 Our courage is bolstered by that very same Capital Gazette, which published a newspaper Friday, the day after a gunman with a grudge shot his way into the newsroom and killed five people. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Massacre in Annapolis shakes sense of security in every newsroom, including mine," 29 June 2018 Daniels should be applauded for his courage and bravery in telling his story. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' Ken Daniels forms partnership to fight opioid crisis," 26 June 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

11 Sep 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

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