[brah-voh; for 1, 2, 5 also brah-voh]


(used in praising a performer).

noun, plural bra·vos for 2, bra·vos or bra·voes for 3.

a shout of “bravo!”
a daring bandit, assassin, or murderer, especially one hired to steal or murder for another.
a word used in communications to represent the letter B.

verb (used without object), bra·voed, bra·vo·ing.

to shout “bravo!”

Origin of bravo

From Italian, dating back to 1755–65; see origin at brave



Bravo: a cable television channel. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bravo

Contemporary Examples of bravo

Historical Examples of bravo

  • The Marquess said, "Bravo," the rest smiled, and rose from the table in some confusion.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • In obedience to it, it was the bravo now who advanced and engaged Garnache.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • “You are bitter against trade, my bravo,” remarked the land baron.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • After looking at his friend's work very attentively, "Bravo!"

  • I replied that it was an easy task for her, and a "bravo" was all he answered.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for bravo



(brɑːˈvəʊ) well done!


(brɑːˈvəʊ) plural -vos a cry of "bravo"
(ˈbrɑːvəʊ) plural -voes or -vos a hired killer or assassin

Word Origin for bravo

C18: from Italian: splendid!; see brave



communications a code word for the letter b
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 bravo

as an exclamation, "well done!," 1761, from Italian bravo, literally "brave" (see brave (adj.)). Earlier it was used as a noun meaning "desperado, hired killer" (1590s). Superlative form is bravissimo.

It is held by some philologists that as "Bravo!" is an exclamation its form should not change, but remain bravo under all circumstances. Nevertheless "bravo" is usually applied to a male, "brava" to a female artist, and "bravi" to two or more. ["Elson's Music Dictionary," 1905]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper