val·​or | \ˈva-lər \

Definition of valor 

: strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery

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When Should You Use valor?

Valor in uniform is still rewarded by medals. Many American civic organizations award a Medal of Valor for physical courage, and the Air Force Medal of Honor displays the single word "Valor". The somewhat old-fashioned adjective valorous more often describes warriors of the past. But valiant is still in common use, though it less often describes military courage than other kinds of bravery or effort.

Examples of valor in a Sentence

The soldiers received the nation's highest award for valor. the absence of indecision even in the face of death is the true mark of valor

Recent Examples on the Web

For her valor, the cat received the Purple Paw award from the Animal Foundation of Great Falls, Montana. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "10 Amazing Animal Rescue Stories," 10 Jan. 2011 While Trump deferred the draft five times to enter his father’s real estate business, Mueller received a Bronze Star with a distinction for valor for his active role in combat during some of the most intense fighting in the conflict. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "How Vietnam Shaped Robert S. Mueller," 16 May 2018 Renteria criticizing umpires in defense of Moncada after a three-strikeout game qualified as valor getting the better part of discretion, one of two intriguing comments this week from men in charge of the Sox rebuild. David Haugh,, "Rick Renteria's gripe only makes it tougher for Yoan Moncada," 13 June 2018 When not playing dead on the battlefield or scheming for glory by killing an already dead man, Hanks’ Falstaff offers piercing ironic commentary on such concepts as honor and valor. Charles Mcnulty,, "Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause," 10 June 2018 The show will feature one famous starship commander whose valor is known across the universe from his travels in the not-too-distant future. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Freaks and Geeks Creator Is Making a Comedy in Space," 6 Apr. 2015 Many of them, such as Bastogne and Nijmegen Bridge, were the sites of outstanding acts of valor by American soldiers. Jens Stoltenberg, WSJ, "America’s NATO Allies Are Stepping Up," 8 July 2018 The widow of 1st Lt. Garlin Conner is accepting the posthumous recognition Tuesday for her husband's valor on the battlefield. NBC News, "Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to World War II Army officer," 26 June 2018 Created by the Orange Bowl Committee, the award recognizes an outstanding South Florida student-athlete who displays valor and courage in the face of adversity. Wells Dusenbury,, "Orange Bowl awards inaugural Beigel-Feis-Hixon Valor Award to Stoneman Douglas athlete," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valor.' 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 valor

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valor

Middle English valour "worth, worthiness, bravery," borrowed from Anglo-French valor, valur, inherited or borrowed from early Medieval Latin valor, from Latin val- (stem of validus "in good health, robust, having legal authority," valēre "to be well, have strength") + -or, noun suffix — more at valid, wield

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Statistics for valor

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for valor

The first known use of valor was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for valor



English Language Learners Definition of valor

: courage or bravery


val·​or | \ˈva-lər \

Kids Definition of valor

: courage … the strange dog, no matter what the breed or valor, swiftly acknowledged Buck's supremacy …— Jack London, The Call of the Wild

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More from Merriam-Webster on valor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with valor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for valor

Spanish Central: Translation of valor

Nglish: Translation of valor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valor for Arabic Speakers

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