cou·​ra·​geous kə-ˈrā-jəs How to pronounce courageous (audio)
: having or characterized by courage : brave
a courageous soldier
a courageous decision
courageously adverb
courageousness noun

Example Sentences

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 In fact, the recent tragedies have shown more courageous acts of leadership than failures, says Mr. Wexler. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 July 2022 If Cheney loses that will mean the House Republican Caucus will have lost its most courageous Trump critic—one of the few who has continued to warn about the severity of January 6. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 26 May 2022 Among those who remembered Cleland as a courageous leader included Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Archdiocese Fr. Bruce Wilkinson. Arluther Lee, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 Which makes those speculative purchases by early CMA leadership and supporters all the more courageous in hindsight. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 Continuing the Game of Thrones story beyond the events of season 8 is incredibly courageous, considering George R.R. Martin has yet to come out with The Winds of Winter. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 June 2022 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also attended the gala, which was emceed by Alec Baldwin, and received the Ripple of Hope Award for his courageous leadership amid the Russian invasion. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 7 Dec. 2022 Dempsey hopes that her path teaches her students to be courageous in pursuit of their dreams. Kat Cornetta,, 5 Dec. 2022 California desperately needs some courageous leadership. Joe Lonsdale, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near courageous

Cite this Entry

“Courageous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


cou·​ra·​geous kə-ˈrā-jəs How to pronounce courageous (audio)
: having or marked by courage : brave
courageously adverb
courageousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on courageous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?