in·​trep·​id in-ˈtre-pəd How to pronounce intrepid (audio)
: characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance
an intrepid explorer
intrepidity noun
intrepidly adverb
intrepidness noun

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Don't Be Afraid to Learn About Intrepid

You need not be afraid to find out the origins of this word, although its history does include fear. Intrepid derives from the Latin word intrepidus, itself formed by the combination of the prefix in- (meaning "not") and trepidus, meaning "alarmed." Other relatives of trepidus in English include trepidation and trepidatious, as well as trepid (which actually predates intrepid and means "fearful"). Synonyms for intrepid include courageous, valiant, fearless, valorous, and simply brave. Intrepid aptly describes anyone—from explorers to reporters—who ventures bravely into unknown territory, though often you'll see the word loaded with irony, as in "an intrepid volunteer sampled the entries at the pie bake-off."

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Example Sentences

The heroes are intrepid small-business owners, investigative reporters, plaintiffs and their lawyers, and, of course, Nader himself and his grass-roots organizations. Jonathan Chait, New York Times Book Review, 3 Feb. 2008 Author and explorer Dame Freya Stark was one of the most intrepid adventurers of all time. (T. E. Lawrence, no slouch in the travel department himself, called her "gallant" and "remarkable.") Kimberly Robinson, Travel & Leisure, December 1999 Meanwhile, the intrepid Florentine traveler Marco Polo had been to China and brought back with him a noodle dish that became Italian pasta … Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, 1993 an intrepid explorer who probed parts of the rain forest never previously attempted
Recent Examples on the Web Eleanor Amplified: This long-running adventure series features an intrepid reporter named Eleanor Amplified. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, 19 Aug. 2022 Our intrepid explorers receive a distress signal from fellow Starfleet ship the U.S.S. Constellation and rush to its aid. Andrew Walsh,, 4 Aug. 2022 Drabkin will handle the wine while Portland Opera Company’s intrepid performers nail the arias. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 23 June 2022 Anubis, an intrepid Mexican gray wolf whose travels from eastern New Mexico to northern Arizona last year earned him fame, was shot and killed Sunday west of Flagstaff. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 7 Jan. 2022 Spain's Costa de la Luz rewards intrepid travelers who know to set their sights beyond the Mediterranean. Terry Ward, CNN, 18 Aug. 2022 The alphabet soup of race names references the tiny alpine villages in France, Italy, and Switzerland that surround Mont Blanc, or in the case of PTL, one very intrepid baker (see below). Outside Online, 15 Aug. 2022 The four potty-mouthed blobs known as Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny are but the latest intrepid cartoon antiheroes to wrestle with the crises of youth. Chris Norris, SPIN, 13 Aug. 2022 In that spirit, six members of the design community reflect on the intrepid legacy Miyake leaves behind. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 12 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intrepid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History


Latin intrepidus, from in- + trepidus alarmed — more at trepidation

First Known Use

1680, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intrepid was in 1680


Dictionary Entries Near intrepid

Cite this Entry

“Intrepid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition



in·​trep·​id in-ˈtre-pəd How to pronounce intrepid (audio)
: feeling no fear : bold

More from Merriam-Webster on intrepid

Last Updated: 16 Sep 2022

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