[ bohld ]
See synonyms for: boldbolderboldlyboldness on

adjective,bold·er, bold·est.
  1. not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.

  2. not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent: He apologized for being so bold as to speak to the emperor.

  1. necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.

  2. beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative: Einstein was a bold mathematician.a difficult problem needing a bold answer.

  3. striking or conspicuous to the eye; flashy; showy: a bold pattern.

  4. steep; abrupt: a bold promontory.

  5. Nautical. deep enough to be navigable close to the shore: bold waters.

  6. Printing. typeset in boldface.

  7. Obsolete. trusting; assured.

Idioms about bold

  1. be / make (so) bold, to presume or venture; dare: I made bold to offer my suggestion.

Origin of bold

First recorded before 1000; Middle English bald, bold, Old English b(e)ald; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German bald, Dutch boud “bold,” Old Norse ballr “dire,” from unattested Germanic bálthaz; akin to Welsh balch “proud,” Irish balc “strong”

synonym study For bold

2. Bold, brazen, forward, presumptuous may refer to manners in a derogatory way. Bold suggests impudence, shamelessness, and immodesty: a bold stare. Brazen suggests the same, together with a defiant manner: a brazen liar. Forward implies making oneself unduly prominent or bringing oneself to notice with too much assurance. Presumptuous implies overconfidence, effrontery, taking too much for granted.

Other words for bold

Opposites for bold

Other words from bold

  • bold·ly, adverb
  • bold·ness, noun
  • o·ver·bold, adjective
  • su·per·bold, adjective
  • un·bold, adjective

Words that may be confused with bold Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bold in a sentence

  • It originated and carried out the boldest speculations respecting the nature of the soul and its future existence.

  • "To be worshipped," ventured Thurstane, giving her a look which made her blush, the boldest look that he had yet ventured.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • Not the boldest would have dared to fly into ecstasies about the terrestrial landing-place of Venus had he once beheld the same.

    The British Expedition to the Crimea | William Howard Russell
  • It is without exception the boldest effort the human mind has yet produced in the investigation of Morals and Theology.

    Baron d'Holbach | Max Pearson Cushing
  • The intelligence awakened the most intense interest in the whole colony, and led to the boldest measures.

British Dictionary definitions for bold


/ (bəʊld) /

  1. courageous, confident, and fearless; ready to take risks

  2. showing or requiring courage: a bold plan

  1. immodest or impudent: she gave him a bold look

  2. standing out distinctly; conspicuous: a figure carved in bold relief

  3. very steep: the bold face of the cliff

  4. imaginative in thought or expression: the novel's bold plot

  5. printing set in bold face

  1. printing short for bold face

Origin of bold

Old English beald; related to Old Norse ballr dangerous, terrible, baldinn defiant, Old High German bald bold

Derived forms of bold

  • boldly, adverb
  • boldness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with bold


In addition to the idiom beginning with bold

  • bold as brass

also see:

  • big and bold
  • make bold

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