1 a : blustering swaggering conduct
b : a pretense of bravery
2 : the quality or state of being foolhardy
Did You Know?
Bravado ultimately traces to the Old Italian adjective bravo, meaning "courageous" or "wild." Nowadays, the wildness once associated with bravado has been tamed to an overbearing boldness that comes from arrogance or a position of power. Celebrities, political or corporate giants, and the schoolyard bully may all show bravado (though they often turn out to be not so tough after all). Bravado is also used for show-offish, daring acts that seem reckless and inconsistent with good sense, but might nonetheless be applauded with shouts of "Bravo!" when successful (the spectacular feats of stuntmen, for example).
The quiet, reserved actor is primarily known for playing characters who radiate bravado and swagger.
"Some compete for money, with first-prize purses of up to $500 on a recent race day. But most are amateurs, who put thrills and bravado above the ever-present risk of spinning out and slipping sideways across the ice." — Michael Hill, The Chicago Tribune, 28 Jan. 2018
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