cour·​age | \ ˈkər-ij How to pronounce courage (audio) , 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 For residents the episode was both a demonstration of Janey’s courage to take on the entrenched Boston Police Department and a glaring example of her lack of experience., 3 June 2021 And the extraordinary bravery and courage of this woman. CBS News, 2 June 2021 Siobhan leaving for college, Mare having a healthy good-bye with Richard, Lori forgiving Mare, and, finally, to Mare finding the courage to revisit the site of her son’s death. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 31 May 2021 Well, thank you, Todd, for showing that statement, and Mrs. Sicknick had such grace and quiet courage and spoke very directly to these members. NBC News, 30 May 2021 In the 14 months since their mother’s death, Xavier and Adriana Salomon have managed to reshape their lives, unearthing courage where there was sorrow. New York Times, 29 May 2021 Last year, as Fauci repeatedly spoke out against the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic, Chinese state media published glowing reports praising the scientist for his professionalism and courage to speak the truth. James Griffiths, CNN, 26 May 2021 But there's a dark underbelly to the reality of soldiering on in the face of trauma — of finding courage because the only other option is surrendering to incomprehensible pain. Lauren Saria, The Arizona Republic, 25 May 2021 And when dark thunderheads rolled through Speedway around 3:30 p.m., as the majority of the field looked on, Mears’ courage was rewarded. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 24 May 2021

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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Learn More About courage

Time Traveler for courage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for courage

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce courage (audio) \

Kids Definition of courage

: the ability to meet danger and difficulties with firmness


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