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

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 Shirley was awarded a medal of valor for his response to the fatal shooting of Tyler Gerth in Jefferson Square Park in June 2020. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 13 Jan. 2022 Other Black troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have received high-ranking valor awards, but never the Medal of Honor. Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Dec. 2021 Before his capture, Skardon had earned two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars for valor while leading Company A of the 92nd Infantry Regiment PA (Philippine Army), a battalion of Filipino Army recruits. Greg Norman, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2021 He was awarded a medal of valor for his response to the fatal shooting of Tyler Gerth in Jefferson Square Park in June 2020. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 23 Nov. 2021 All but one received valor awards or commendations in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. James Gordon Meek, ABC News, 11 Nov. 2021 Karin Rosenberg, who first met her husband in the 1980s, knew nothing of his valor for years. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 Yantis was on duty in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 and was decorated for valor and service to others that day and for his efforts in helping others in the weeks, months and years to follow. Pioneer Press Staff,, 12 Nov. 2021 Their resolve to stage a play depicting recurrent atrocities reiterates both their valor and why art must endure even in life-threatening crises. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for valor

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near valor

valonia oak



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Statistics for valor

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Valor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for valor



English Language Learners Definition of valor

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on valor

Nglish: Translation of valor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valor for Arabic Speakers


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