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

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 The other photos and written responses in DeVito's series are just as courageous and heartbreaking, bringing to light the presumptuousness these subjects have had to cope with. Marci Robin, Allure, "This Portrait Series Lets People With Conditions That Affect Their Appearance Respond to Rude Comments," 11 June 2018 Justify’s Preakness had been courageous, but not dominant. Tim Layden,, "It's Instinctive to Compare Justify's Triple Crown to American Pharoah's but Both Share Connection to Greatness," 10 June 2018 The silver lining in all this for pro-life advocates is the resolve of courageous students who refuse to be silenced and who are learning how to engage effectively and lovingly even in hostile environments. Kristan Hawkins, WSJ, "Campus Censorship Hits Pro-Lifers Hard," 21 May 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

26 Sep 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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Comments on courageous

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characteristic trappings or dress

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