\ ˈder How to pronounce dare (audio) \
dared; daring; dares or (auxiliary) dare

Definition of dare

 (Entry 1 of 4)

auxiliary verb

: to be sufficiently courageous to no one dared say a word she dare not let herself love— G. B. Shaw

intransitive verb

: to have sufficient courage try it if you dare

transitive verb

1a : to challenge to perform an action especially as a proof of courage dared him to jump
b : to confront boldly : defy dared the anger of his family
2 : to have the courage to contend against, venture, or try the actress dared a new interpretation of the classic role



Definition of dare (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : an act or instance of daring (see dare entry 1 sense 1) : challenge crossed the river on a dare refused to take the dare
2 : imaginative or vivacious boldness : daring

Definition of DARE (Entry 3 of 4)

Dictionary of American Regional English


biographical name
\ ˈder How to pronounce Dare (audio) \

Definition of Dare (Entry 4 of 4)

Virginia 1587–? 1st child born in America of English parents

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dare


darer \ ˈder-​ər How to pronounce darer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for dare

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dare in a Sentence

Verb Try it if you dare. We wanted to laugh but didn't dare. The actress dared a new interpretation of the classic role. She dared him to dive off the bridge. She dared me to ask him out on a date. I did, and he said yes.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their defenders were also in smarter positions; with inside leverage, the Rams were daring Jackson to target receivers running out-breaking routes or fades. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens film study: Want to stop Lamar Jackson? Don’t test him with an all-out blitz.," 28 Nov. 2019 Curtis’ castmates, including Don Johnson and Michael Shannon, as well as Knives Out writer-director Rian Johnson, applaud her take on spoilers and caution anyone who dares ruin the ending of their film for others. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Jamie Lee Curtis and the cast of Knives Out explain why people who spoil movies are the worst," 27 Nov. 2019 What: The Cleveland Play House’s signature holiday show returns to the Allen Theatre for the seventh consecutive year in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Cleveland Holiday Arts Guide 2019: Naughty and Nice Offerings on Cleveland’s Stages.," 27 Nov. 2019 Mr Trump deserves credit for taking on a demon that none of his predecessors dared to touch. The Economist, "Tackling America’s giant hospital bill," 23 Nov. 2019 Sunday, the Cardinals — knowing the 49ers’ run game was suspect due to injuries — loaded up the box and dared Garoppolo to respond. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ dinosaur Jimmy Garoppolo roars in 36-26 win over Cardinals," 17 Nov. 2019 To write her new book, Lindy West went where few women have dared to go before—deep, deep in to Adam Sandler's oeuvre. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Lindy West Has a New Book, a Hit TV Show, and No Shortage of Opinions," 11 Nov. 2019 In a sea of daring celebrities redefining and twisting menswear codes, including Ezra Miller, Lil Nas X, and more, the actor has levelled up his fashion sense in a stealthier way instead. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Shia LaBeouf Continues His Winning Streak of Statement Shoes," 6 Nov. 2019 Instead daring can mean fighting the good fight and risking one’s career advancement. Katherine Ormerod, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Secrets of Daring Women," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bernard Cohen, who has been dealing in antique jewelry for decades, has just launched a line of his own designs, a collection that features charmingly nonspherical—some dare call them lumpy!—stones, studded with vintage cut steel. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Vintage Jewelry Dealer Debuting a New Line of Offbeat Pearl Treasures," 28 Oct. 2019 After confessing this dare to Union authorities, she was directed to take the bet in order to ingratiate herself with Southern sympathizers and feed information back to the Union. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy," 12 Aug. 2019 Those who have dare stand up to him (take former GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia-10 and former Rep. Mia Love of Utah-4) have been publicly mocked and derided by him. Sophia A. Nelson, Washington Post, "Republican women must save their party," 17 July 2019 One side will be labeled with a truth which must be answered, or a dare which must be performed. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "10 awesome Burning Man things to do on Day 2, Aug. 26," 5 Aug. 2019 Double dare: Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running for president, thinks Republican President Donald Trump views impeachment hearings as politically advantageous, per USA Today. cleveland.com, "Ohio budget deal due this week: Capitol Letter," 24 June 2019 Sam, from Sydney’s north shore, fell ill from the slug dare and was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having been infected with rat lungworm. Fox News, "Teen disabled on a dare after swallowing slug leans on family, friends," 2 Apr. 2018 As What/If is Zellweger’s first episodic show, the whole shoot felt like her own personal dare—a rehearsal nut shooting a pilot before the series finale had even been written. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, "What/If Made Renée Zellweger "Uncomfortable" And She Loved It," 24 May 2019 The Problem With Random Growth Sheffield and Miller began collaborating thanks to a kind of dare. Quanta Magazine, "A Unified Theory of Randomness," 2 Aug. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dare.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dare


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dare

Verb and Noun

Middle English dar (1st & 3rd singular present indicative), from Old English dear; akin to Old High German gitar (1st & 3rd singular present indicative) dare, Greek tharsos courage

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dare

Time Traveler for dare

Time Traveler

The first known use of dare was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dare

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dare.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 11 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dare


How to pronounce Dare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to have enough courage or confidence to do something : to not be too afraid to do something
: to do (something that is difficult or that people are usually afraid to do)
: to tell (someone) to do something especially as a way of showing courage



English Language Learners Definition of dare (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of telling someone to do something as a way of showing courage


\ ˈder How to pronounce dare (audio) \
dared; daring

Kids Definition of dare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have courage enough for some purpose : be bold enough Try it if you dare. sometimes used as a helping verbThe knight looked so solemn about it that Alice did not dare to laugh.— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
2 : to challenge to do something especially as a proof of courage I dare you to jump.
3 : to face with courage They dared the dangerous crossing.



Kids Definition of dare (Entry 2 of 2)

: a challenge to do something as proof of courage I ate the hot pepper on a dare.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dare

Spanish Central: Translation of dare

Nglish: Translation of dare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dare for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dare

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


heavy with or as if with moisture

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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