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courage of one's convictions, have the

Behave according to one's beliefs. For example, Carl wouldn't give his best friend any of the test answers; he had the courage of his convictions. This expression is believed to have originated as a translation of the French le courage de son opinion (“the courage of his opinion”), dating from the mid-1800s and at first so used. By the late 1800s it had changed to the present form.

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