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 Mamie Till’s courage and strength, whereas the barn is a symbol of white violence and fear. Wright Thompson, The Atlantic, 22 July 2021 Detroit police officials recounted Wednesday how the girl was rescued — a combination of the girl having her wits about her, concerned neighbors showing courage and some police work — on June 30. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 21 July 2021 Like Joan Baez and Nina Simone, her voice rings with early feminist courage and artistic independence. Marc Myers, WSJ, 12 July 2021 The speech is one of the most gut-wrenching, powerful displays of courage and strength that will live on as a haunting warning to never let history repeat itself. Diane J. Cho,, 10 July 2021 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, which will celebrate courage and kindness inspired by some favorite Disney princesses. Travel + Leisure, 2 July 2021 Having the courage to fight and the fortitude to win is what has made our party invincible. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 1 July 2021 Policing should be done with common sense, compassion, courage and high professionalism. Ryce Stoughtenborough, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 June 2021 Long ago, John Lewis gave me a tremendous gift — the understanding that the ideals and memories of my father live on through the courage and commitment of others, like himself. Kerry Kennedy, CNN, 5 June 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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Time Traveler for courage

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on courage

Nglish: Translation of courage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courage for Arabic Speakers


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