\ 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 darer (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 For Americans who dare to provoke China on the Taiwan question, the Chinese people will remember you for a lifetime. James Griffiths, CNN, "Taiwan appears determined to create an anti-Beijing alliance as Chinese state media warns of potential sanctions against US," 9 Sep. 2020 And Fox knows that no cable system would dare drop Fox—that would result in the rapid loss of thousands of subscribers and a likely outbreak of picketing and demonstrations outside its offices. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Fox News Shares the Blame for Trump’s Deranged, Ruinous Presidency," 7 Sep. 2020 Hence, the nation to them is not all holy, a thing inviolate and inviolable, a thing that a man dare not sell or dishonour on pain of eternal perdition. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Is Nationalism Curative or Fatal?," 7 Sep. 2020 With so little oil income coming in, Mr. Maduro has done something his predecessors didn’t dare. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Oil Industry Is Fading Away in Land of the World’s Richest Reserves," 4 Sep. 2020 In a 15-hour deposition, Guardado had testified that The Executioners control the Compton station through force, threats, work slowdowns and acts of revenge against anyone who dare speak out against them. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Parents of California teen killed by Compton deputies, alleged gang members sue department, LA County," 4 Sep. 2020 When Nikolay Gumilyov died in August 1921, his friends didn’t dare mourn him in public. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the Red Terror set a macabre course for the Soviet Union," 2 Sep. 2020 Does a team dare go all in, trading away prospects who haven’t played in a competitive game in a year, to try to win in a season that’s not even guaranteed to be completed? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Next week's MLB trade deadline is high on risks and rewards for general managers," 24 Aug. 2020 Who would dare carry out such a murder without Putin’s approval? Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "What Navalny’s Poisoning Really Says About the Current State of Putin’s Russia," 21 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Texas Republicans warn the traditionally red battleground is on the verge of turning blue and fear Joe Biden will answer the Trump campaign’s dare to sink major resources into flipping the state’s crucial 38 Electoral College votes. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "GOP insiders worry about Trump's Texas bravado," 30 July 2020 The boys from Köpenick, the idiot with the army greatcoat who stabbed his own leg on a dare. Hari Kunzru, The New Yorker, "A Transparent Woman," 29 June 2020 State District Judge Eric Moyé took Luther up on that dare and sentenced her to seven days in jail and a $7,000 fine. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Abbott gets to play both sides on COVID-19 response," 8 May 2020 Those leaders also believe, although few dare say out loud, that both forms of union must compromise nation-state sovereignty. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Britain’s Independence Day," 29 Jan. 2020 When the forts are done, continue the virtual slumber party with some scary stories and truth-and-dare. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Has coronavirus in Milwaukee canceled your child's birthday party? Here's how you can still celebrate.," 20 Mar. 2020 If that was a dare on Trump's part to Democrats, their voters appear to have called him on it. Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "CPAC feels the Bern," 27 Feb. 2020 After critics have spent months dunking on Hudson Yards, for someone visiting from out of town, going there almost feels like a dare. Maura Judkis, chicagotribune.com, "Hate on the Hudson (Yards): How bad can it be?," 8 Aug. 2019 Roughly a third of the Chrysler products from the past 30 years are a result of a double-dog dare. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Jaguar's Vector Mobility Pod Makes Us Sad," 19 Feb. 2020

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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Statistics for dare

Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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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.

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