val·​or | \ ˈva-lər How to pronounce valor (audio) \

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

Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the highest military award for valor in 2001. Scott Huddleston,, "Roosevelt statue now part of Alamo Plaza," 11 June 2019 Over the past several years, the Pentagon has conducted a review of valor awards that has resulted in the upgrading of awards for many service members. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Trump will award the Medal of Honor to David Bellavia, the first living Iraq War recipient," 31 May 2019 That finding, first reported by the New York Times, marked the first time that the military had based a valor award nomination on drone video footage. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "As a Navy SEAL receives the Medal of Honor, frustrations remain about a related case," 23 May 2018 But there was no valor predicted in serial draft deferments and dubious medical conditions. WSJ, "‘Going Down With the Ship’ Is the Sum of a Life of Service," 21 Dec. 2018 There was someone else in the gym that night who was unusually qualified to appreciate Moss’s display of valor. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Few. The Proud. The Players Who Have Been Run Over by Zion Williamson.," 5 Dec. 2018 John McCain is a genuine hero — a man of valor whose sacrifices for his country are immeasurable. Mike Debonis, Washington Post, "Meghan McCain dismisses ‘nothingburgers’ attacking her ailing father, John McCain," 11 May 2018 The White House announced today that on March 27 President Donald Trump will present to the family of a fallen soldier the nation’s highest award for valor in combat. James Freeman, WSJ, "An Army Hero," 12 Mar. 2019 This audacious feat of leadership earned Mr. Mendez the Intelligence Star for valor, but like all CIA operations, its details were immediately locked in a vault. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Offbeat Genius of a Great American Spy," 26 Jan. 2019

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

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for valor

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

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English Language Learners Definition of valor

literary : courage or bravery


val·​or | \ ˈva-lər How to pronounce valor (audio) \

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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