cou·​ra·​geous | \kə-ˈrā-jəs \

Definition of courageous 

: having or characterized by courage : brave a courageous soldier a courageous decision

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Other Words from courageous

courageously adverb
courageousness noun

Examples of courageous in a Sentence

She was a courageous woman who wasn't afraid to support unpopular causes. the courageous decision to quit rather than obey an illegal order

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps the most courageous action of a liberal religious leader was taken by Howard Moody, minister of New York’s Judson Memorial Church, who preached—and practiced—what might be understood as an American Protestant version of liberation theology. Linda Gordon, The New Republic, "How birth-control leaders found allies in American religious groups," 5 Apr. 2018 Don't get me wrong: Kim Kardashian was courageous and persistent in her efforts to free Alice. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Reminder: Kim Kardashian Sought Justice For One Person. Hundreds Of Thousands Are Still Stuck.," 7 June 2018 In the annual Pete Frates ALS Awareness game Tuesday afternoon, the Eagles honored their courageous and inspirational alum by stamping a four-run comeback on the way to a 6-5 nonleague victory. Chris Bokum,, "St. John’s Prep powers past Hamilton-Wenham in Frates ALS Awareness game," 30 May 2018 Francia Raisa’s courageous life-saving act has not gone unnoticed by Selena Gomez or her family, and Mandy Teefey, Selena’s mom, recently gave her a shout out at an awards ceremony! Houston Chronicle, "Unhappy mom is harassed by her family of pranksters," 9 June 2018 Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists., "Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Dies at 81," 2 Apr. 2018 Japanese firefighters, for instance, made the courageous decision to fight fires at the radioactive plant for 13 and a half hours straight, with 30-minute rotations. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Belt That Protects Against Gamma Radiation," 27 June 2018 Moss is hopeful that the new addition to the gallery will both celebrate a courageous and kind-hearted woman and get people talking about the nuances of her story. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Famed for “Immortal” Cells, Henrietta Lacks is Immortalized in Portraiture," 15 May 2018 Thank you to all the courageous people who stepped up, shared their stories and ignited this fire. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Here Are the Best Celebrity Instagrams from the 2018 Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courageous.' 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 courageous

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for courageous

Middle English corageous, borrowed from Anglo-French corajus, from corage courage + -us, -ous -ous

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courage under fire



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Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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The first known use of courageous was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of courageous

: very brave : having or showing courage


cou·​ra·​geous | \kə-ˈrā-jəs \

Kids Definition of courageous

: having or showing the ability to meet danger and difficulties with firmness

Other Words from courageous

courageously adverb

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


by force of circumstances

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