courage

noun

cour·​age ˈkər-ij How to pronounce courage (audio)
ˈkə-rij
: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
Choose the Right Synonym for courage

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship.

courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty.

the courage to support unpopular causes

mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience.

a challenge that will test your mettle

spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened.

her spirit was unbroken by failure

resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends.

the resolution of pioneer women

tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat.

held to their beliefs with great tenacity

Example Sentences

Eunice Kennedy Shriver … didn't buy into the propaganda of her day that women had to be soft and submissive. That took courage back then, because she grew up in a family that expected a lot from the boys and very little from the girls. Maria Shriver, Time, 26 Oct. 2009 Sometimes when I debate whether to risk my individuality or conform, the memory of my son's picture brings me courage. Sue Monk Kidd, Reader's Digest, August 1990 But as long as your courage holds out you may as well go right ahead making a fool of yourself. All brave men are fools. Robert Frost 17 Apr. 1915, in Selected Letters of Robert Frost1964 She has the courage to support unpopular causes. It takes courage to stand up for your rights.
Recent Examples on the Web Interim superintendent Gary Patterson opened the meeting by talking about the courage that the families of the victims have shown. Jake Bleiberg, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2022 Interim superintendent Gary Patterson opened the meeting by talking about the courage that the families of the victims have shown. Jake Bleiberg, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2022 Characters demonstrate courage and resilience, making sacrifices for one another. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2022 Interim superintendent Gary Patterson opened the meeting by talking about the courage that the families of the victims have shown. Jake Bleiberg, Chicago Tribune, 17 Nov. 2022 Kay Ivey needs courage to act, before Alabama sticks a needle in this man’s veins. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, 17 Nov. 2022 These women are the Rosa Parks of Iran and their courage has been contagious. Marc Malkin, Variety, 16 Nov. 2022 Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states the chance to certify a corrective set of facts. NBC News, 19 June 2022 That's not courage, that's protecting his own interests. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, from quer, coer heart, from Latin cor — more at heart

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of courage was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near courage

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courage. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

courage

noun

cour·​age ˈkər-ij How to pronounce courage (audio)
ˈkə-rij
: strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger or difficulty

More from Merriam-Webster on courage

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