\ ˈbōld How to pronounce bold (audio) \

Essential Meaning of bold

1 : not afraid of danger or difficult situations The area was settled by bold [=brave, courageous] pioneers. Few politicians have been bold enough to oppose the plan to cut taxes.
2 : showing or needing confidence or lack of fear It's a bold plan that might fail. Hiring a novice was a bold move.
3 : very confident in a way that may seem rude or foolish He punished the bold child for talking back. He was/made so bold as to guarantee a victory. [=he confidently guaranteed a victory] I'd like to offer a few criticisms, if I may be so bold.

Full Definition of bold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : fearless before danger : intrepid bold settlers on some foreign shore— William Wordsworth
b : showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit a bold plan
2 : impudent, presumptuous punishing a bold child for talking back If I may be so bold, I'd like to make a few suggestions.
3 obsolete : assured, confident
4 : sheer, steep bold cliffs
5 : adventurous, free a bold thinker
6 : standing out prominently bold headlines
7 : being or set in boldface bold lettering



Definition of bold (Entry 2 of 2)

: boldface printed in bold

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Other Words from bold


boldly \ ˈbōl(d)-​lē How to pronounce bold (audio) \ adverb
boldness \ ˈbōl(d)-​nəs How to pronounce bold (audio) \ noun

Examples of bold in a Sentence

Adjective Few politicians have been bold enough to oppose the plan to cut taxes. It's a bold plan that might fail. Hiring a novice was a bold move. He punished the bold child for talking back. I'd like to offer a few criticisms, if I may be so bold. She wore a dress with bold stripes. The painting is done in bold colors.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The trick is to not just do the opposite but to be bold and take some smart, calculated risks in order to create some new, additional profit centers. Steve Strauss, USA TODAY, 6 Oct. 2021 The best thing Mike McCarthy does on game day is being bold on fourth down. Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2021 The sound was bold without being messy or oppressive, grand without being overbearing. Christopher Arnott,, 2 Oct. 2021 Be bold, be unstoppable, and never let anyone discourage you from fighting for your rights. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 Structurally, the songs are bold — mixtures of balladry, hip-hop, country, soul and blues reside, in some cases, within a single song — and are flavored with instruments as diverse as organ, flute and alto sax. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 The series is bold in its willingness to depict young women weaponizing patriarchal violence against one another, to ultimately chilling ends. Yasmine Al-sayyad, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2021 With just a three-vote margin in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is managing a caucus with disparate views on how bold the tax changes should be. Lauren Fox And Katie Lobosco, CNN, 13 Sep. 2021 In fact, many birds are quite skilled at bold and brazen theft. New York Times, 6 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here’s the full list of 2021 winners, with U.S. restaurants in bold: 1. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Oct. 2021 If nothing else, coaches are coaching more aggressively against the Chiefs to try to keep up and fortune favors the bold. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2021 Here’s a look at the first start by the 17 rookie quarterbacks, with first-round picks in bold and asterisks denoting replacement players during a strike season. Brad Biggs,, 27 Sep. 2021 If fortune favors the bold, let the words of Rashee Rice serve as an example. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, 25 Sep. 2021 Fortune — or at least a literary culture attuned to grand ambitions and turned on by gestures of transgression — favors the bold. New York Times, 30 Aug. 2021 On the other hand, there’s outspoken Americana luminary Jason Isbell, who on Aug. 9 took a bold and then-lonely stand that fans would have to show proof of vaccination to get into any of his shows, effective immediately. Chris Willman, Variety, 19 Aug. 2021 Beekman’s curated inventory of rentable jewels includes iconic pieces like Cartier’s diamond panther earrings, a set of bold jeweled Verdura cuffs, and the Bird on a Rock brooch that Jean Schlumberger designed for Tiffany’s. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 29 June 2021 Honestly, if people still made AIM away messages, this would be mine (written in impact bold, of course). Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 14 June 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bold

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Old English beald; akin to Old High German bald bold

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Time Traveler for bold

Time Traveler

The first known use of bold was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for bold


\ ˈbōld How to pronounce bold (audio) \
bolder; boldest

Kids Definition of bold

1 : willing to meet danger or take risks : daring bold knights
2 : not polite and modest : fresh a bold remark
3 : showing or calling for courage or daring a bold plan
4 : standing out prominently She has a face with bold features.
5 : being or set in boldface

Other Words from bold

boldly adverb
boldness noun



Medical Definition of BOLD

blood oxygenation level-dependent; blood oxygen level-dependent

Note: BOLD is used to describe imaging signals and methods that measure changes in the magnetic properties of hemoglobin accompanying changes in blood oxygen levels. BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging is dependent on oxygen levels and is used especially in the study of brain function to produce images showing blood flow indicative of neural activity.

More from Merriam-Webster on bold

Nglish: Translation of bold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bold for Arabic Speakers


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