dough·​ty ˈdau̇-tē How to pronounce doughty (audio)
doughtier; doughtiest
: marked by fearless resolution : valiant
a doughty warrior
doughtily adverb
doughtiness noun

Did you know?

There’s no doubt that doughty has persevered in the English language—it’s traceable all the way back to the Old English word dohtig—but how to pronounce it? One might assume that doughty should be pronounced \DAW-tee\, paralleling similarly spelled words like bought and sought, or perhaps with a long o, as in dough. But the vowel sound in doughty is the same as in doubt, and in fact, over the centuries, doughty’s spelling was sometimes confused with that of the now obsolete word doubty (“full of doubt”), which could be the reason we have the pronunciation we use today. The homophonous dowdy (“having a dull or uninteresting appearance”) can also be a source of confusion; an easy way to remember the difference is that you can’t spell doughty without the letters in tough (“physically and emotionally strong”).

Examples of doughty in a Sentence

the doughty heroes of old
Recent Examples on the Web The campaign also exposed the vacuum in our political press corps, which tried valiantly to prop up the Florida governor as a doughty maverick who shouldn’t be underestimated. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2024 And along with the doughty swarm of small organizations that keep New York’s music scene varied and vibrant, the Perelman Center makes its entrance as an opera presenter, staging one of the season’s two Huang Ruo works. Vulture, 5 Jan. 2024 The doughty American consumer led the way, with personal consumption growing 4% and contributing about 2.7 percentage points to overall growth. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2023 In the meantime, Ramaswamy managed to combine the MAGA-style purge of the federal workforce with the doughty libertarian ideal of subjecting the power of the federal government to a thorough evisceration. Ben Jacobs, The New Republic, 13 Sep. 2023 Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was raised at storied Glamis Castle, a place of doughty stone walls and spiky grey turrets built at the turn of the 15th century. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 8 Sep. 2022 This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal columnist took to the paper’s doughty op-ed page to sound off on George Santos, the human falsehood fountain who now serves New York’s 3rd congressional district. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 28 Jan. 2023 Should the United States, a doughty republic oceans away from the carnage, feel a commitment to distant Kyiv? Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 28 June 2022 Despite the ministry’s nimble online work and doughty conventional fighting by Ukraine’s military, Russia's attacks have intensified, and some cities and towns have been captured by Russian forces. Wired, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English dohtig; akin to Old High German toug is useful, Greek teuchein to make

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near doughty

Cite this Entry

“Doughty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


dough·​ty ˈdau̇t-ē How to pronounce doughty (audio)
doughtier; doughtiest
: very strong and brave
doughtily adverb
doughtiness noun

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