in·​trep·​id | \ in-ˈtre-pəd How to pronounce intrepid (audio) \

Definition of intrepid

: characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance an intrepid explorer

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Other Words from intrepid

intrepidity \ ˌin-​trə-​ˈpi-​də-​tē How to pronounce intrepid (audio) \ noun
intrepidly \ in-​ˈtre-​pəd-​lē How to pronounce intrepid (audio) \ adverb
intrepidness noun

Don't Be Afraid to Learn About Intrepid

You need not be afraid to find out the origins of today’s 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") and even the rare "trepidity" (a synonym for "trepidation" in the sense of "fear, apprehension"). Synonyms for "intrepid" include "courageous," "valiant," "fearless," "valorous," and simply "brave."

Examples of intrepid in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web At this rate of failure, our intrepid entrepreneur wonders if her business will be able to survive. Christopher Bergh, Forbes, "Managing Data Analytics Is More Like Running A Restaurant Than You Think," 5 Apr. 2021 The template was set for Hemingway’s literary identity for decades to come: two-fisted, intrepid and unvarnished. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, "Ken Burns’ new Hemingway documentary doesn’t give you a reason to read Hemingway," 5 Apr. 2021 One day, intrepid spenders could redeem hundreds of thousands of card points for a ticket to orbit, according to Visa. Annamaria Andriotis, WSJ, "Credit Card Points: Next Up, Shrink Your Student Loans, Invest in Bitcoin," 3 Apr. 2021 The plot involves alien invaders and an elaborate scheme that only intrepid scientists can foil, all of which Godzilla fans had seen many times before (though this one does have a robot woman). Keith Phipps, Vulture, "All 15 Classic Godzilla Movies, Ranked," 31 Mar. 2021 And intrepid bird watchers like Basco Eszeki were there to see it. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, "For American birders seeking rare owls, Minnesota in winter is a hot destination," 31 Mar. 2021 For more than a century, though, across the United States, a few intrepid Americans have sought out those remote towers as not just a job, but a lifestyle. Dina Gachman, Smithsonian Magazine, "The History of Lady Lookouts," 29 Mar. 2021 The characters are often voiced not by actors but by ordinary people with a connection to whatever neighborhood the intrepid researchers are visiting. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Michelle Obama’s Lesson to Kids: You Are What You Watch," 29 Mar. 2021 An intrepid and conscientious reporter, Sciolino goes to look at it, talks to Antoine Hoareau, the enthusiastic leader of the Friends of the Sources of the Seine, and drinks the water bubbling from springs in a swampy field. Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "We’ll Always Have Paris," 23 Mar. 2021

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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First Known Use of intrepid

1680, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intrepid

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

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Time Traveler for intrepid

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrepid was in 1680

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Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intrepid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for intrepid



English Language Learners Definition of intrepid

literary + often humorous : feeling no fear : very bold or brave


in·​trep·​id | \ in-ˈtre-pəd How to pronounce intrepid (audio) \

Kids Definition of intrepid

: feeling no fear : bold

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