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prowess

[prou-is]
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noun
  1. exceptional valor, bravery, or ability, especially in combat or battle.
  2. exceptional or superior ability, skill, or strength: his prowess as a public speaker.
  3. a valiant or daring deed.
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Origin of prowess

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French proesse, proece goodness, bravery, equivalent to prou prow2 + -esse < Latin -itia -ice
Related formsprow·essed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prowesses

Historical Examples

  • The sagas have sung the prowesses of Olaf; he is brave among the bravest.

    The Iron Arrow Head or The Buckler Maiden

    Eugne Sue

  • He dilated upon his own prowesses, caressed his moustache, and threw side glances at Joan.


British Dictionary definitions for prowesses

prowess

noun
  1. outstanding or superior skill or ability
  2. bravery or fearlessness, esp in battle
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French proesce, from prou good; see proud
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

Word Origin and History for prowesses

prowess

n.

late 13c., prouesse, from Old French proece "prowess, courage, brave deed" (Modern French prouesse), from prou, later variant of prud "brave, valiant," from Vulgar Latin *prodem (cf. Spanish proeza, Italian prodezza; see proud). Prow was in Middle English as a noun meaning "advantage, profit," also as a related adjective ("valiant, brave"), but it has become obsolete. "In 15-17th c. often a monosyllable" [OED].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper