cour·​age | \ ˈkər-ij How to pronounce courage (audio) , ˈkə-rij \

Definition of courage

: 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

Examples of courage in a Sentence

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 Through much courage and suffering, and with steady support from the U.S. and neighboring Colombia, Venezuelans have continued their fight for freedom. Elliott Abrams, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 Pro-lifers should respond to this defeat with courage and prudence. The Editors, National Review, 4 Aug. 2022 That’s the time the U.S. should worry, because that will be the time leaders need to summon up courage and political will, and not lose sight of the goal of making a stronger domestic industry. Willy Shih, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Ankaahono signifies self-confidence, courage and energy through the color orange. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2022 While characters demonstrate perseverance, courage and integrity, the movie could also be seen as romanticizing a violent lifestyle. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 There are plenty of people who have courage and decency and want to do the right thing patriotically, but unfortunately the Republican Party does not seem to be a real hotbed of them at this time, when the country needs them more than ever. Gal Beckerman, The Atlantic, 13 July 2022 Its themes of confinement and dear ones lost, and also great courage and resilience, may have seemed remote pre-pandemic, but are once again contemporary. Sarah Mupo, STAT, 8 July 2022 Even with rumours undermining her reputation, the notorious figure was able to defeat her enemies at the Versailles court with courage and dignity. Patrick Frater, Variety, 5 July 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.

First Known Use of courage

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for courage

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

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

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Courage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for courage


cour·​age | \ ˈkər-ij How to pronounce courage (audio) \

Kids Definition of courage

: the ability to meet danger and difficulties with firmness

More from Merriam-Webster on courage

Nglish: Translation of courage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courage for Arabic Speakers


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