noun cour·age \ ˈkər-ij , ˈkə-rij \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of courage

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

Examples of courage in a Sentence

  1. 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 ShriverTime26 Oct. 2009
  2. Sometimes when I debate whether to risk my individuality or conform, the memory of my son's picture brings me courage. —Sue Monk KiddReader's DigestAugust 1990
  3. 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
  4. She has the courage to support unpopular causes.

  5. It takes courage to stand up for your rights.

Recent Examples of courage from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of courage

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

COURAGE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of courage for English Language Learners

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

COURAGE Defined for Kids


noun cour·age \ ˈkər-ij \

Definition of courage for Students

: the ability to meet danger and difficulties with firmness

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


one who attends or assists a leader

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!