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 Sara Bareilles provides original music for a series about Bess (Brittany O’Grady), a young woman in New York who is, according to the show description, trying to find her true voice, along with the courage to use it. oregonlive, "‘Brave New World’ and more Peacock originals; ‘P-Valley’; ‘30 Rock: A One-Time Special’; ‘House of Ho’: TV This Week," 12 July 2020 In the short, out-of-focus video, Davon McNeal stands in front of a whiteboard fastened to a blue wall and speaks about courage. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "An 11-year-old boy’s killing isn’t proof black lives don’t matter to black people. It’s proof of our collective failure.," 11 July 2020 These women have exemplified tremendous courage and grit over the course of their lifetimes, fighting tirelessly to advance women's causes. USA Today, "USA TODAY’s Women of the Century judges panel," 8 July 2020 What Baldwin saw on that dangerous road that led to King’s death, in Memphis, was the difficult question of whether or not the country had the courage to confront its demons. Eddie S. Glaude, The New Yorker, "The History That James Baldwin Wanted America To See," 19 June 2020 The award is given annually to a Bears veteran and rookie who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of Piccolo. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Nick Williams receives Brian Piccolo Award," 18 June 2020 The companies that succeed will be those that balance the need to look both inward and toward the horizon, and act with the empathy, courage, and vision this moment demands. Fortune, "4 ways companies can thrive in the COVID-19 economy, according to philanthropy strategists," 4 June 2020 Each will include a variety of terrains for drivers of various skill and courage levels. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford is bringing back the Bronco and it's aimed right at Jeep," 6 July 2020 And so this idea that having the courage, and being bold, and doing this kind of work is detrimental to your business clearly is not the case. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "How Ben & Jerry’s activist history allows it to call out white supremacy and police brutality," 23 June 2020

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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Statistics for courage

Last Updated

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for courage


How to pronounce courage (audio)

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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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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