1 of 3


dared; daring; dares or (auxiliary) dare

auxiliary verb

: to be sufficiently courageous to
no one dared say a word
she dare not let herself loveG. B. Shaw

intransitive verb

: to have sufficient courage
try it if you dare

transitive verb

: to challenge to perform an action especially as a proof of courage
dared him to jump
: to confront boldly : defy
dared the anger of his family
: to have the courage to contend against, venture, or try
the actress dared a new interpretation of the classic role
darer noun


2 of 3


: an act or instance of daring (see dare entry 1 sense 1) : challenge
crossed the river on a dare
refused to take the dare
: imaginative or vivacious boldness : daring


3 of 3


Dictionary of American Regional English

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
My colleagues wanted to know this one: how dare you? Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, 24 Mar. 2023 Truth or dare can be played with any amount of people. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 23 Mar. 2023 As Mercury and the Sun head into Aries, let your visions and dreams guide you and dare to be true to yourself. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 16 Mar. 2023 Fox’s owner can charge $3 or more per month per subscriber, and distributors don’t dare remove it. Brian Stelter, Fortune, 14 Mar. 2023 The goofy guys in Rebus: The World Feeds Many Fools by Jan Matsys, one chomping on a spoon and the other pushing his nose with a finger, dare the viewer to take them seriously. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, 11 Mar. 2023 But what’s radical within romantics is to spend time to discover your own needs, to accept your own needs, to be able to feel safe, to be in relationships with other people, and to dare to communicate these things. Grant Sharples, SPIN, 9 Mar. 2023 That would be Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, demand for which overwhelmed pitiable Ticketmaster and, in Congress, suggested a new third rail of American politics: don’t dare raise the ire of Taylor Swift fans. Jay Ruttenberg, The New Yorker, 3 Mar. 2023 Democrats didn’t dare push back very hard, because their constituents were unhappy about crime, too. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 21 Feb. 2023
And the right kind of drag is when a straight man does it as a gag, a dare or a humiliation. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2023 Trending Editor’s picks Forty years later, his words resonate like a dare to the gods. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 5 Mar. 2023 Fairground food can be a mind-bending dare: Think infamous fried butter balls or this year's Fruity Pebbles shrimp rice bowl. Elisabeth Carroll Parks, Chron, 1 Mar. 2023 How is a handlebar basket like a hazardous wintertime dare? Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2021 That political news sets the time frame in the opening moments, almost like a dare Martins gave himself to convincingly tell an uplifting story about people for whom struggle is built into each day and politics are rarely the answer. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2023 Diplo then dips his testicles in his margarita and drinks it, and Madonna fulfills a dare to tongue kiss Jack Black. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 17 Jan. 2023 His public appearances also come off as a dare to his most vocal haters, the ones who have confronted him all year with taunts and obscenities while filming his reactions on cellphones. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2022 Past that, the ride is open to anyone willing to take the dare. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dare.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dare




Cite this Entry

“Dare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dare. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
ˈda(ə)r How to pronounce dare (audio)
dared; daring
: to have enough courage : be bold enough to
try it if you dare
used as a helping verb
no one dared say a word
: to challenge to perform an action especially as a proof of courage
I dare you
: to face boldly
dared the dangerous crossing


2 of 2 noun
: an act or instance of daring : challenge
dived from the bridge on a dare

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Virginia 1587–? 1st child born in America of English parents

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