\ˈder \
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 \

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 \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dare

Synonyms: Verb

beard, brave, brazen, breast, confront, defy, face, outbrave, outface

Antonyms: Verb

dodge, duck, funk, shirk, sidestep

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Examples of dare in a Sentence


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

Nathan Walkup, arguably the most talented player to ever step foot on the Watkins Gym floor, his teams never dared to venture this far. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park downs Dawson 46-40 for super rare Area title," 24 Feb. 2018 So the person administering the file cabinet ... How dare you. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 July 2018 Now, the women, who unlike me were dressed in traditional clothes, drew the stares of nervous edgy travelers, all of being dutifully suspicious of anyone who dared depart from the requisite workout attire of the American traveler. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 But elsewhere in the album, the two take pains to address arguments, beefs, and hostilities toward everything from the Super Bowl to Spotify to Kendall and Kylie Jenner, presenting a united front that dares listeners to find a chink in their armor. Emma Stefansky, Vanities, "The Best Burns from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Surprise Album “Everything Is Love”," 17 June 2018 McIlroy knows how to be daring at Quail Hollow and has been rewarded for it often. charlotteobserver, "Who’s going to win at Quail Hollow this week? These writers think they know. | Charlotte Observer," 2 May 2018 Let’s be daring for a minute and consider an alternative theory: The internet does not hate women. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Who Does She Think She Is?," 29 Mar. 2018 That was before the rules kicked in, before the fortresses had been erected and their feudal lords had exiled anyone who dared deviate too much from the norm. Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter, "Stephen Hawking and the Search for a Hollywood Genius," 16 Mar. 2018 Kimmel found other targets—there were a couple of cheap jokes about Plummer being old enough to know the real Alexander Hamilton and Timothée Chalamet missing Paw Patrol to make the Oscars (how dare you, Jimmy). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Jimmy Kimmel Went There—on Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo—in His Oscars Monologue," 5 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2011 — acting on a dare from his teammates in the Arizona Fall League — Mikolas ate a live lizard in the bullpen. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Miles Mikolas Took a Wild Journey to the Cardinals Rotation," 7 July 2018 Next, Joel chose to also do a dare, and was tasked with making up a country song on the spot. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, ""The Kissing Booth" Stars Joey King and Joel Courtney Play Truth or Dare," 2 July 2018 The friends must play, with untold truths and incomplete dares resulting in death, and the secrets shared causing rifts among the formerly close group. Kimber Myers, latimes.com, "The only scary thing about 'Truth or Dare' is how boring it is," 12 Apr. 2018 The user currently has just over 500 followers, but Musk responded to his dare within minutes. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "Elon Musk pledges to fund fixing water in Flint homes with lead contamination," 12 July 2018 After a round of rock paper scissors to see who would go first, Joey agreed to begin with a dare. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, ""The Kissing Booth" Stars Joey King and Joel Courtney Play Truth or Dare," 2 July 2018 To insist that Basquiat was a virtuoso is to turn away from the paintings all over again, to miss their ultimate dare. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 WeWorld Onlus per fare squadra a dare #unrossoallaviolenza sulle donne As was Lazio striker Ciro Immobile, the league's current top goalscorer, who posted a photo with girlfriend Jessica Melena. Matias Grez, CNN, "Soccer stars use red lipstick to raise awareness about domestic violence," 23 Apr. 2018 The adjacent brink provides just the right dare-you-to-jump height for youngsters to leap into the plunge pool. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Hot sun, full moon, cool water make for surreal swims," 28 June 2018

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


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


see dare entry 1

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Statistics for dare

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for dare

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

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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 \
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.

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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).


full of whispering sounds

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