[ kuh-rey-juhs ]
/ kəˈreɪ dʒəs /
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See synonyms for: courageous / courageously / courageousness on Thesaurus.com

possessing or characterized by courage; brave: a courageous speech against the dictator.
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Origin of courageous

1250–1300; Middle English corageous<Anglo-French curajous,Old French corageus, equivalent to coragecourage + -eus-eous

synonym study for courageous

See brave.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does courageous mean?

Courageous means having, showing, or done with courage—the quality of being ready and willing to face negative situations involving danger or pain.

Courageous 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.

Being courageous is often thought of as facing such situations without fear, but it also involves facing them despite fear. In other words, someone who’s courageous might not be fearless, but they face the dangerous, difficult, or frightening situation anyway.

Example: I especially want to thank our courageous 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 courageous come from?

The first records of the word courageous come from the 1200s. Courage comes from the Old French corage, from cuer, meaning “heart” (this ultimately derives from the Latin cor, meaning “heart”). The suffix -ous means “full of” and is used to form adjectives.

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’s courageous 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. Being courageous doesn’t always involve facing danger. Something as simple as telling the truth when it will result in negative consequences can be courageous.

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What are some other forms related to courageous?

  • courageousness (noun)
  • courageously (adverb)
  • courage (noun)

What are some synonyms for courageous?

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


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



How is courageous used in real life?

Courageous 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 courageous!

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

A. brave
B. bold
C. timid
D. resolute

How to use courageous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for courageous

/ (kəˈreɪdʒəs) /

possessing or expressing courage

Derived forms of courageous

courageously, adverbcourageousness, noun
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