Idioms about dare
Origin of dare
synonym study for dare
OTHER WORDS FROM daredarer, nounre·dare, verb (used with object), re·dared, re·dar·ing.un·dared, adjective
Words nearby dare
Other definitions for dare (2 of 3)
Other definitions for dare (3 of 3)
BEHIND THE WORD
What does dare mean?
While the word dare is used widely and variously for bold behavior, a dare popularly refers to a silly or risky challenge a person is compelled to do as part of children’s games.
What are some other forms of dare?
What are some other words related to dare?
- truth or dare
- game on
Where does dare come from?
The word dare generally means “to have the courage or boldness for something.” It can be positive (She dared to venture into outer space) or negative (Don’t you dare eat the last cookie!)
The verb dare is found in Old English, with the noun form, a “challenge” or “defiance,” coming in the 1500s.
Children popularly egg each other on to do a dare—or more tauntingly, the double dare. This is when a friend urges another to do something slightly dangerous or humiliating, sometimes as a prank (e.g., I dare you to ding-dong-ditch the neighbor’s house). Your friend doesn’t want to do it? Then double-dog dare them. This pastime inspired the 1980–90s Nickelodeon show Double Dare involving trivia and slimy, physical challenges.
And then there’s the game truth or dare, where players take turns challenging each other to answer personal or difficult questions (truth) or do an unpleasant task (dare). The term truth or dare has been dated to at least the 1930s, though forms of the game run back centuries. As early as the 1600s, for instance, children played a similar game called questions and commands.
These dares are not to be confused with D.A.R.E. In 1983, the school-based drug education program D.A.R.E., short for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, which started in Los Angeles and spread around the U.S. and U.K. Its “don’t do drugs” approach has been criticized over the decades for limited effectiveness, but in the 2010s D.A.R.E. revamped its curriculum to address concerns.
How is dare used in real life?
As noted, dare can be a noun or verb as well as refer to positive or negative actions, often for dramatic or humorous effect.
Who dares to wakes me at this hour pic.twitter.com/0JioZxSnkr
— Te~Amo& Pepe (@teandpepe) February 25, 2020
Children may challenge one another to dicey or goofy dares—with only their integrity at stake if they chicken out. Young adults may play truth or dare up late at sleepovers.
Dare also appears in a number of set phrases. The more old-fashioned-sounding Dare I say or I dare say preface a provocative or critical statement (Dare I say that dress is a little flashy?).
I dare you can be issued as a challenge, sometimes menacingly (Go ahead and try me. I dare you) or playfully (Name me something better than cheese. I dare you).
Daring to do something, to circle back to where we began, is usually admired, as it takes courage to try something dangerous, groundbreaking, or life-changing.
More examples of dare:
“After mocking one of the actor’s stunts on the Late Late show, Tom challenged the chat show host to do a skydive. It was a dare that couldn’t be ignored, so after a bit of training and with a camera team in tow, that’s what James did.”
—BBC, July 2018
How to use dare in a sentence
The man who removed the dolphin from the Indus River that Jabbar and his colleagues were trying to save told a judge he was responding to an impromptu dare by a friend.
In defiance, I held my ticket above my head, which triggered the spitting and chants of “How Dare You!”
Despite the 21 years I did in prison for a drug conviction, I am assimilating back into mainstream or, dare I say, white America.
We feel their strangeness when we read their words—they lived on a plane where few dare to tread.Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun|Katie Baker|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
While it may not leave you with many profound truths, I dare you not to fall in love.
He adds: “None of the fighters will dare touch it, if an emir has given permission.”
None other would dare to show herself unveiled to a stranger, and a white man at that.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
I never dare venture over except as the guest of some more fortunate friend.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
I do not know—I do not dare to believe—that I shall live to hear that key grating in the lock.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
She would not dare to choose, and begged that Mademoiselle Reisz would please herself in her selections.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin
For accurate work the best instruments are the von Fleischl-Miescher and the Dare.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
British Dictionary definitions for dare
- (it is) quite possible (that)
- probably: used as sentence substitute