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[dair] /dɛər/
verb (used without object), dared or (Archaic) durst; dared; daring; present singular 3rd person dares or dare.
to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough:
You wouldn't dare!
verb (used with object), dared or (Archaic) durst; dared; daring; present singular 3rd person dares or dare.
to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
to meet defiantly; face courageously.
to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage; defy:
to dare a man to fight.
auxiliary verb
to have the necessary courage or boldness to (used chiefly in questions and negatives):
How dare you speak to me like that? He dare not mention the subject again.
an act of daring or defiance; challenge.
dare say, daresay.
Origin of dare
before 900; Middle English dar (v.), Old English dear(r), 1st and 3rd person singular present indicative of durran; akin to Old High German gitarran
Related forms
darer, noun
redare, verb (used with object), redared, redaring.
undared, adjective
2. hazard, risk, brave.
Synonym Study
1. Dare, venture imply involvement in risks and dangers. Dare emphasizes the state of mind that makes one willing to meet danger: He dared to do what he knew was right. Venture emphasizes the act of doing something that involves risk: He ventured into deep water.


[dair] /dɛər/
Virginia, 1587–? first child born of English parents in the Western Hemisphere.


Dictionary of American Regional English. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dare
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is such as I will describe; for I must dare to speak the truth, when truth is my theme.

    Phaedrus Plato
  • "He will like it, I dare say, if you learn anything in any way," said Sara.

    Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • I dare not turn around my head, for fear of being recognized.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • I dare say something would have taken off from the pleasure if I had.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • I dare say Jervis has had a letter from him by now asking to have me removed.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
British Dictionary definitions for dare


(transitive) to challenge (a person to do something) as proof of courage
(can take an infinitive with or without to) to be courageous enough to try (to do something): she dares to dress differently from the others, you wouldn't dare!
(transitive) (rare) to oppose without fear; defy
I dare say, I daresay
  1. (it is) quite possible (that)
  2. probably: used as sentence substitute
a challenge to do something as proof of courage
something done in response to such a challenge
Derived Forms
darer, noun
Usage note
When used negatively or interrogatively, dare does not usually add -s: he dare not come; dare she come? When used negatively in the past tense, however, dare usually adds -d: he dared not come
Word Origin
Old English durran; related to Old High German turran to venture
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 dare

from first and third person singular of Old English durran "to brave danger, dare; venture, presume," from Proto-Germanic *ders- (cf. Old Norse dearr, Old High German giturran, Gothic gadaursan), from PIE *dhers- "to dare, be courageous" (cf. Sanskrit dadharsha "to be bold;" Old Persian darš- "to dare;" Greek thrasys "bold;" Old Church Slavonic druzate "to be bold, dare;" Lithuanian dristi "to dare," drasus "courageous").

An Old English irregular preterite-present verb: darr, dearst, dear were first, second and third person singular present indicative; mostly regularized 16c., though past tense dorste survived as durst, but is now dying, persisting mainly in northern English dialect. Meaning "to challenge or defy (someone)" is first recorded 1570s.


1590s, from dare (v.).


1590s, from dare (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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