\ 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

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Other Words from dare


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

Synonyms for dare

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jazz is the music of no boundaries but few jazz singers dare travel to the margins where Fay Victor’s most marvelous and intense vocalizations comfortably reside. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Photographer Ramin Samandari used to joke that his heart wouldn’t dare to attack him. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Sep. 2021 Drinking along the river’s edge on a Friday night is more date night than dare. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, 2 Sep. 2021 The spot is best known for its P'haal, which is an extremely hot curry that requires customers who dare to try it to state a verbal disclaimer not holding the restaurant accountable for any physical or emotional damage that follows. Dory Jackson, PEOPLE.com, 31 Aug. 2021 If there’s room for them at all, that’s all the reward one dare ask for. Guy Lodge, Variety, 28 Aug. 2021 Yankee panic can be comical in its presumptuousness: How dare my team be bad? Jason Gay, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2021 Most who came before her didn’t dare express their opinions. New York Times, 24 July 2021 That tactic would dare Republicans to block a bill that, if rejected, could result in both a federal shutdown and a default. Arkansas Online, 24 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But finding him in such a sympathetic role requires a little adjustment on the part of any viewer who knows the actor’s work—it’s almost a dare, as well as a gesture of gritty honesty. John Anderson, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2021 Brad Penny’s $500 dare to attempt to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, 30 Aug. 2021 Earl Hood, 90 and also from Detroit, went from Ferndale to Montford Point on a dare from his older brother, Clay, who already was a Marine. Joe Swickard, Detroit Free Press, 17 Aug. 2021 The risk is obvious and none of the knights at Arthur’s table dare accept. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 3 Aug. 2021 Few people know how to cook it correctly now, and fewer dare; Mr. Gholston, who perfected his technique by drawing from family tradition, is an exception. New York Times, 30 July 2021 In the neighborhood of Hamdallaye, one of the most populous and poorest areas of the capital city, Conakry, few dare to dream of leaving. Gerald Imray, Star Tribune, 29 July 2021 Filtration of its products was a challenge when it got started, and from a filtration standpoint, taking on coconut is a triple-dog dare. Washington Post, 22 June 2021 In 1961, four inebriated servicemen decided to check out Milwaukee's most popular gay bar, on a dare. Samantha Hendrickson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 June 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for dare

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dare




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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for dare



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 verb The 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dare

Nglish: Translation of dare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dare for Arabic Speakers


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