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 Inspired by her courage, fans took to Twitter to praise her message. Laura Pitcher, Teen Vogue, "Billie Eilish Wants to Remind You Her Body Is None of Your Business," 10 Mar. 2020 The Nassar survivors joined three of Anderson's accusers at a news conference at Ypsilanti, Michigan, and saluted the three men for their courage in coming forward. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, "Larry Nassar victims lend support to men who say University of Michigan doc abused them," 5 Mar. 2020 Allred commended Haley for her courage in speaking out. NBC News, "Mimi Haley on Weinstein verdict: 'It was a huge relief that the jury got it'," 25 Feb. 2020 Von Furstenberg and her brand are committed to motivating girls and women to be #InCharge, and this aligns with Girl Scouts’ mission to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Taylor Ayers, Marie Claire, "The DVF x Girl Scouts Scarf Is the Perfect Mix of Nostalgia and Fashion," 3 Mar. 2020 Then Prest musters the courage to call the actual Jay, hoping to have a thoughtful conversation about that night. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Kaitlin Prest, a Voice from #MeToo’s Gray Zone," 26 Feb. 2020 Taylor Swift isn't just an inspiration for her music, creativity, and courage but also, for her style. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "The Biggest Revelation From 'Miss Americana' Is Taylor Swift's Maximalist Kitchen," 5 Feb. 2020 The breakfast honors citizens who have worked to bring positive change to the community while supporting the values of nonviolence, love, commitment, courage, social justice, leadership and racial equality. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "MLK Day is Jan. 20. Here's where you can celebrate the civil-rights leader around Phoenix," 12 Jan. 2020 Her courage and that beautiful, great big, loving smile give me hope and determination to sing my own song. Smithsonian Magazine, "Readers Respond to the January/February Issue," 21 Feb. 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 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

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