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[kur-ij, kuhr-] /ˈkɜr ɪdʒ, ˈkʌr-/
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.
have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.
Origin of courage
1250-1300; Middle English corage < Old French, equivalent to cuer heart (< Latin cor; see heart) + -age -age
1. fearlessness, dauntlessness, intrepidity, pluck, spirit.
1. cowardice.
Synonym Study
1. Courage, bravery, valor, bravado refer to qualities of spirit and conduct. Courage permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear: to take (or lose) courage. Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness: bravery in a battle. Valor implies heroic courage: valor in fighting for the right. Bravado is now usually a boastful and ostentatious pretense of courage or bravery: empty bravado. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for courage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I marvelled at your courage in talking to her as you did," said Eudora.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • A courage, moreover —the gambler's courage—that is typically American.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • There are not many boys, or men, I think, that would have had the courage to act as you did.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Then you will understand, and understanding, you will admire his courage.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • A pioneer is a brave fellow, with the courage of his own curiosity.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
British Dictionary definitions for courage


the power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc
the courage of one's convictions, the confidence to act in accordance with one's beliefs
take one's courage in both hands, to nerve oneself to perform an action
(obsolete) mind; disposition; spirit
Word Origin
C13: from Old French corage, from cuer heart, from Latin cor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for courage

c.1300, from Old French corage (12c., Modern French courage) "heart, innermost feelings; temper," from Vulgar Latin *coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), from Latin cor "heart" (see heart) which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.

In Middle English, used broadly for "what is in one's mind or thoughts," hence "bravery," but also "wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness," or any sort of inclination. Replaced Old English ellen, which also meant "zeal, strength."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for courage


Related Terms

dutch courage

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with courage


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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