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 The civil-rights movement was made possible by women and men of undaunted courage. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "You Say You Want a Revolution," 27 Oct. 2020 To unionize would require courage and defiance from many of these women; attitudes in Northeast Pennsylvania were provincial and patriarchal. Catherine Rios And David Witwer, Smithsonian Magazine, "The True Story of Min Matheson, the Labor Leader Who Fought the Mob at the Polls," 22 Oct. 2020 The Hannah Paul Solomon Woman of Courage award recognizes an Alaska Native woman who demonstrates strength in cultural values and courage. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Federation of Natives announces 2020 President’s awards during online convention," 19 Oct. 2020 The show has the imagination and courage, really, to take an idea and really change it and shift it to not get stale. Chancellor Agard,, "Supernatural send-off: Julian Richings looks back on Death's chilling debut," 12 Oct. 2020 Italians tend to think of him as the sum of their best qualities: ingenuity, courage and resilience. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, "Much of America has stopped celebrating Columbus Day, but the explorer remains revered in Italy," 11 Oct. 2020 And yet this gospel song has survived, giving courage and protection to many. Hermine Saunders,, "Saunders: ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ I’m gonna let it shine | COMMENTARY," 10 Oct. 2020 In 2019 he was named a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, given to one member of each NFL team for his sportsmanship and courage, as voted on by teammates. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Nickel: This new mental health campaign is what we need right now, in sports and in Wisconsin," 9 Oct. 2020 But too few Republican politicians have the discipline to learn the details and the political courage to sell reform to voters. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Pre-Existing Condition Fiction," 30 Sep. 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

30 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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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