\ 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

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 So too have threats to school board members, election officials, and Republicans who dare buck the MAGA orthodoxy. Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone, 19 Nov. 2021 The schedule for November and December finds the HSNY’s traveling educators at the F.P. Journe boutiques in Los Angeles and Miami, where your aspiring horologist can dare to dream. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 19 Nov. 2021 The Tramuntana are especially known for their drive-if-you-dare roads. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 More on Kirkwood: A challenge others haven't conquered No one would dare belittle the career achievements or the competitiveness of several of the drivers Foyt has worked with through this decade. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Nov. 2021 There’s only a handful of comedians that would even dare to explore it. Jesse David Fox, Vulture, 11 Nov. 2021 Then, there’s Miu Miu, which showed a lineup of Y2K-era micro-mini, midriff-baring skirts with unfinished hemlines alongside preppy blazers that only the students at Constance Billard would dare to wear past the school entrance. Frances Solá-santiago, refinery29.com, 11 Nov. 2021 Colin Webb and Nenye Anagbogu dare to don chef aprons and whip up something nice in the kitchen for the restaurant industry. Frederick Daso, Forbes, 2 Nov. 2021 When will her mother dare to stand up for herself—and for her people? Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Iron Mike Tyson is not one to back down from any fight – or any dare. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 Carlo won’t be a candidate for point duty, but while coach Bruce Cassidy tries to wring more scoring out of his mediocre offense, coaxing more dare and shooting out of Carlo might have to be a priority. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2021 When Durgin issued his dare to the anti-vaccinationists, the world-class agitator pounced. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Oct. 2021 These works, odes to theatrical flexibility, should serve as a dare, and as an inspiration. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 21 Dec. 2020 Under coach Brandon Staley, the Chargers just about dare teams to run. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 15 Oct. 2021 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

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

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 30 Nov. 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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