Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Dutch courage

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Sometimes Offensive.
  1. courage inspired by drunkenness or drinking liquor.
Show More

Origin of Dutch courage

First recorded in 1805–15

Usage note

Dutch courage is foolish courage or misplaced confidence. Because “Dutch” is used to imply that the courage is not genuine, the term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Dutch. See also Dutch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dutch courage

Dutch courage

noun
  1. false courage gained from drinking alcohol
  2. alcoholic drink
Show More
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

Idioms and Phrases with dutch courage

Dutch courage

False courage acquired by drinking liquor, as in He had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage. This idiom alludes to the reputed heavy drinking of the Dutch, and was first referred to in Edmund Waller's Instructions to a Painter (1665): “The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose, Disarm'd of that from which their courage grows.”

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.