View synonyms for courage


[ kur-ij, kuhr- ]


  1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

    Synonyms: intrepidity, dauntlessness, fearlessness, spirit, pluck

    Antonyms: cowardice

  2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.


/ ˈkʌrɪdʒ /


  1. the power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc
  2. the courage of one's convictions
    the confidence to act in accordance with one's beliefs
  3. take one's courage in both hands
    to nerve oneself to perform an action
  4. obsolete.
    mind; disposition; spirit

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of courage1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English corage, from Old French, equivalent to cuer “heart” (from Latin cor; heart ) + -age -age

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of courage1

C13: from Old French corage, from cuer heart, from Latin cor

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

More idioms and phrases containing courage

In addition to the idiom beginning with courage , also see Dutch courage ; pluck up (one's courage) .

Discover More

Compare Meanings

How does courage compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

Discover More

Synonym Study

Courage, bravery, valor, bravado refer to qualities of spirit and conduct. Courage permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear: to take (or lose) courage. Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness: bravery in a battle. Valor implies heroic courage: valor in fighting for the right. Bravado is now usually a boastful and ostentatious pretense of courage or bravery: empty bravado.

Discover More

Example Sentences

When she finally mustered up the courage to look, she felt frightened and humiliated.

We celebrate them by acting with courage and compassion, by doing what is right and just, for while we honor them today, it is they who every day honor us.

It took up a couple weeks to work up the courage to quit, but I did.

From Eater

We know that true leadership and courage has been demonstrated by workers speaking up, not by CEOs, and Amazon must listen if Amazon wants to be part of the solution, not the problem.

I really came to understand who Liz was, and she had more courage than most people have in the world.

From Time

My wife was talking to her on the phone, and I just kinda found the courage to ask her.

The courage of this husband and father is a constant reminder of how much some sacrifice for exercising universal rights.

The highest form of political courage is doing the right thing when the mob is against it.

Absolutely: “Courage I would rank now in the hierarchy of art and love.”

There is the will of the people; the resolve of the political class; the courage of the media; and the authority of the courts.

It is only just to say, that the officers exhibited a degree of courage far beyond any thing we had expected from them.

To be wiser than other men is to be honester than they; and strength of mind is only courage to see and speak the truth.

The look of distress had vanished, and his sincere eyes seemed to shine again with courage and with strength.

Such mutual distrust necessarily creates or accompanies a lack of moral courage.

Again, she was present at the battle of Silan, where her heroic example of courage infused new life into her brother rebels.


Discover More

More About Courage

What does courage mean?

Courage is the quality of being ready and willing to face negative situations involving danger or pain.

A close synonym is bravery. Showing courage is often thought of as facing such situations without fear, but it also involves facing them despite fear. In other words, someone who has courage might not be fearless, but they face the dangerous, difficult, or frightening situation anyway.

The adjective courageous means having, showing, or done with courage. It can be used to describe people who have courage, or the actions of such people when they face negative situations resolutely. A close synonym is brave.

Example: We should all show our appreciation for the courage of our first responders, who face danger every day but still, somehow, decide to show up and put the wellbeing of other people before their own safety.

Where does courage come from?

The first records of the word courage come from the 1200s. It comes from the Old French corage, from cuer, meaning “heart” (this ultimately derives from the Latin cor, meaning “heart”).

The heart is traditionally depicted as the center of human emotion, and the word heart is commonly used in a figurative way to refer to courage or bravery—someone who has courage is said to have a lot of heart. Being courageous means that even when a situation is dangerous or scary—when it makes your heart start beating very fast—you’re still willing to face it. But courage doesn’t always involve facing danger. Something as simple as telling the truth when it will result in negative consequences can be courageous.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to courage?

What are some synonyms for courage?

What are some words that share a root or word element with courage


What are some words that often get used in discussing courage?



How is courage used in real life?

Courage is always used positively. It’s associated with heroic people and actions—like firefighters running into burning buildings to save people—but it can be used in many different situations.



Try using courage!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of courage?

A. bravery
B. resoluteness
C. timidity
D. valor

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




coup stickcourage of one's convictions, have the