See more synonyms for brave on
adjective, brav·er, brav·est.
  1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
  2. making a fine appearance.
  3. Archaic. excellent; fine; admirable.
  1. a brave person.
  2. a warrior, especially among North American Indian tribes.
  3. Obsolete.
    1. a bully.
    2. a boast or challenge.
verb (used with object), braved, brav·ing.
  1. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes.
  2. to defy; challenge; dare.
  3. Obsolete. to make splendid.
verb (used without object), braved, brav·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to boast; brag.

Origin of brave

1475–85; < Middle French < Spanish bravo (> Italian) < Vulgar Latin *brabus for Latin barbarus barbarous
Related formsbrave·ly, adverbbrave·ness, nouno·ver·brave, adjectiveo·ver·brave·ly, adverbo·ver·brave·ness, nounqua·si-brave, adjectivequa·si-brave·ly, adverbsu·per·brave, adjectivesu·per·brave·ly, adverbsu·per·brave·ness, nounun·brave, adjectiveun·brave·ly, adverbun·brave·ness, nounun·braved, adjective

Synonyms for brave

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Synonym study

1. Brave, courageous, valiant, fearless, gallant refer to confident bearing in the face of difficulties or dangers. Brave is the most comprehensive: it is especially used of that confident fortitude or daring that actively faces and endures anything threatening. Courageous implies a higher or nobler kind of bravery, especially as resulting from an inborn quality of mind or spirit that faces or endures perils or difficulties without fear and even with enthusiasm. Valiant implies a correspondence between an inner courageousness and external deeds, particularly of physical strength or endurance. Fearless implies unflinching spirit and coolness in the face of danger. Gallant implies a chivalrous, impetuous, or dashing bravery.

Antonyms for brave Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for braving

Contemporary Examples of braving

Historical Examples of braving

  • He had a confounded assurance, the devil's own cheek, familiar with danger, and braving it.


    Emile Zola

  • Perhaps you think that I am braving you in what I am saying now, as in what I said before about the tears and prayers.



  • His faithful Duke was with him, braving a temperature of -32°.

  • He needs me, he loves me, he is braving the wrath of the world and of heaven for my sake.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • What object can he possibly have in braving three times his force in a gale like this?

    The Two Admirals

    J. Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for braving


    1. having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring; not cowardly or timid
    2. (as collective noun preceded by the)the brave
  1. fine; splendida brave sight; a brave attempt
  2. archaic excellent or admirable
  1. a warrior of a Native American tribe
  2. an obsolete word for bully 1
verb (tr)
  1. to dare or defyto brave the odds
  2. to confront with resolution or courageto brave the storm
  3. obsolete to make splendid, esp in dress
Derived Formsbravely, adverbbraveness, nounbravery, noun

Word Origin for brave

C15: from French, from Italian bravo courageous, wild, perhaps ultimately from Latin barbarus barbarous
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 braving



late 15c., from Middle French brave, "splendid, valiant," from Italian bravo "brave, bold," originally "wild, savage," possibly from Medieval Latin bravus "cutthroat, villain," from Latin pravus "crooked, depraved;" a less likely etymology being from Latin barbarus (see barbarous). A Celtic origin (Irish breagh, Cornish bray) also has been suggested.

Old English words for this, some with overtones of "rashness," included modig (now "moody"), beald ("bold"), cene ("keen"), dyrstig ("daring"). Brave new world is from the title of Aldous Huxley's 1932 satirical utopian novel; he lifted the phrase from Shakespeare ("Tempest" v.i.183).



"to face with bravery," 1776, from French braver, from brave (see brave (adj.)). Related: Braved; braving.



"North American Indian warrior," c.1600, from brave (adj.), and cf. bravo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper