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 However, when deciding to leave, understand it’s your right to do what’s best for you and to move with courage. Brittney Oliver, Essence, "Career: 4 Black Women Share Their Advice for Creating An Exit Strategy," 24 Jan. 2020 Whereas a stone is always also something to kick or climb or walk upon; a weapon, the foundation of faith, the image of courage, fidelity, coldness of heart. Stephen O’connor, Harper's magazine, "The Interpretation of Dreams," 20 Jan. 2020 They brave challenges on-duty and off, with courage and dignity. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Full text: Arizona Gov. Ducey's 2020 State of the State speech," 13 Jan. 2020 Don’t be afraid, go forward with courage, refocus your energy, and step into your power. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "How Do I Fight Burnout and Get Reenergized for Work?," 7 Jan. 2020 This is a time to create new rules and begin new relationships with courage. Venus Australis,, "Your Love Horoscope For 2020 Is Here," 2 Jan. 2020 The attempt may fail and still be recognized, as long as it was done with courage. New York Times, "What Makes an American Hero? (Or a Canadian One?)," 12 Dec. 2019 This two-faced view toward people with the rare courage to speak truth to power suggests why whistle-blowing is so alarmingly easy to politicize. Tom Mueller, Time, "Whistle-blowing Is an American Tradition–And a Bad Sign for Our Democracy," 21 Nov. 2019 As expected, Rachmany discusses his career, crediting 14-years of touring with Rebelution for providing him with the courage and confidence to embark on his solo endeavors. Patricia Meschino, Billboard, "Rebelution Frontman's Acoustic Tour to Benefit Last Prisoner Project: 'No One Should Be in Prison for Cannabis Conviction'," 15 Oct. 2019

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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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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