\ 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 Get on a high point and dare a coyote to show his head. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 7 Best Coyote Rifles for Any Budget," 18 Feb. 2021 Occasionally smugglers game out the gaps in C.B.P. shifts and dare daylight dashes. New York Times, "Risking Everything to Come to America on the Open Ocean," 28 Jan. 2021 The Broncos could line up Reagor all over the formation and dare opposing defenses to shade coverage toward Courtland Sutton and leave the big play available. Phillip Heilman, The Denver Post, "Broncos draft film study: What if John Elway waits to pick a wide receiver?," 26 Mar. 2020 Honestly, how dare Psaki make fun of and belittle the Space Force, a very crucial, very important branch of our military! Chris Murphy, Vulture, "Amber Ruffin Advocating for White History Month Won Late Night This Week," 12 Feb. 2021 And for those who dare to go out, trouble can come quickly. oregonlive, "Child labor in palm oil industry tied to popular U.S. brands, including Girl Scout cookies," 30 Dec. 2020 But fate did not dare interrupt this venture, which was more notable for its soaring score, ingenious libretto and inspired musical performances than for minor flaws in lighting and camera angles. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "For Chicago’s classical and jazz scenes, rays of hope amid the despair of music in 2020," 7 Dec. 2020 Some argue that estimates of potential output by the C.B.O. and private economists are too pessimistic — that Americans should dare to dream bigger. New York Times, "Biden Wants the Biggest Stimulus in Modern History. Is It Too Big?," 29 Jan. 2021 The youthful shenanigans are continuing apace onboard, too, where the rest of the crew is drinking and playing truth or dare. Justin Curto, Vulture, "Below Deck Recap: Sick and Tired and Drunk," 12 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those doubts aside, the brazenness and timing of the phone call, at a moment when some Democrats are eager to prosecute Trump, present a dare for Biden’s Justice Department to go ahead and do just that. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "How Congressional Republicans Could Sabotage the Counting of Electoral Votes," 4 Jan. 2021 Upon completion, that dare is met with another one in turn, from Dash. Patrick Vaill, Town & Country, "What Makes Dash & Lily a Perfect New York City Story?," 14 Nov. 2020 Would the show dare kill off Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) for the second time? James Hibberd, EW.com, "5 big questions for The Mandalorian season 2 finale," 17 Dec. 2020 Classmate Jack Flickinger lived just down the street from Shepherd and is forever associated with accepting a triple-dog dare to stick his tongue on a frozen flagpole in the schoolyard. Philip Potempa, chicagotribune.com, "Indiana locations a real world reminder of Jean Shepherd’s ‘A Christmas Story’," 3 Dec. 2020 Taking refuge from Manhattan at Christmastime in the stacks of the Strand bookstore, Dash comes upon Lily’s aforementioned red notebook, which has instructions inside, a dare. Patrick Vaill, Town & Country, "What Makes Dash & Lily a Perfect New York City Story?," 14 Nov. 2020 Inside, Lily finds the entire bookstore decorated with holiday magic, complete with Christmas tree ornaments nodding to Dash and Lily’s dare-fueled hijinks from episodes’ past. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Dash & Lily Ending Is Supposed To Make You Feel Like The Sparkle Heart Emoji," 11 Nov. 2020 Their identities remain hidden—Dash learns Lily's name only after doing an insane dare—making the entire affair reminiscent of A Cinderella Story. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix’s Dash & Lily Will Be Your New Feel-Good Favorite," 10 Nov. 2020 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

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

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 9 Mar. 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dare

Nglish: Translation of dare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dare for Arabic Speakers

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