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

If you’re going to name a ship, whether an aircraft carrier or an interstellar starship, you could do worse than to name it the Intrepid, as both the United States military and Star Trek writers have done, respectively. (Technically “Intrepid” is a class of Trek ships that includes the Voyager, etc., but you get the drift.) Intrepid, after all, comes from the Latin word intrepidus, itself formed by the combination of the prefix in-, meaning “not,” and the adjective trepidus, meaning “alarmed.” When not designating sea or space vessels, 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 couch surfer endeavored to watch every installment of the beloved sci-fi series in chronological order.” Intrepid word lovers may be interested to know of the existence of trepid, meaning “fearful”; it predates intrepid but most are too trepid (or simply unaware of its existence) to use it.

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
Recent Examples on the Web To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here. CNN — In the early 1900s, Antarctica became a hot spot for explorers undertaking intrepid but dangerous expeditions. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 15 June 2024 Its realization looked increasingly less likely as the years went on, but the always intrepid Fuller persisted. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 26 May 2024 Then there are intrepid NBA voices who will look for alternative sources to get Knicks info — like SiriusXM’s NBA Radio morning mouths Frank Isola and Brian Scalabrine. Bob Raissman, New York Daily News, 6 Jan. 2024 Our intrepid little family returned to the hotel just in time to meet Hồng, whose name in English translates to Rosie. Ariel Frager, Travel + Leisure, 23 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for intrepid 

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

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 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​trep·​id in-ˈtrep-əd How to pronounce intrepid (audio)
: feeling no fear : bold
intrepidity noun
intrepidly adjective
intrepidness noun

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