noun, plural bra·va·does, bra·va·dos.

a pretentious, swaggering display of courage.

Origin of bravado

1575–85; < Spanish bravada (now bravata < It), equivalent to brav(o) brave + -ada -ade1
Related formso·ver·bra·va·do, noun
Can be confusedbravery bravado bravura

Synonyms for bravado

Synonym study

See courage. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bravado

Contemporary Examples of bravado

Historical Examples of bravado

  • My tone was purposed insolence; I met his look with bravado.

  • There was something in the man's tone of bravado that stamped it genuine.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • His eyes fell, his bravado vanished, he fumbled with the cutlery.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The last fragment of self-respect, of bravado even, was in tatters.

  • When he saw Mathieu come in he believed in some act of bravado, and almost choked.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for bravado


noun plural -does or -dos

vaunted display of courage or self-confidence; swagger

Word Origin for bravado

C16: from Spanish bravada (modern bravata), from Old Italian bravare to challenge, provoke, from bravo wild, brave
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 bravado

1580s, from French bravade "bragging, boasting," from Italian bravata "bragging, boasting" (16c.), from bravare "brag, boast, be defiant," from bravo (see brave (adj.)). The English word was influenced in form by Spanish words ending in -ado.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper