Dutch courage


noun Sometimes Offensive.

courage inspired by drunkenness or drinking liquor.

QUIZZES

HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Test your memory on these verbal firecrackers from the week of June 29 to July 5!
Question 1 of 7
anchorite

Origin of Dutch courage

First recorded in 1805–15

usage note for Dutch courage

Dutch courage is foolish courage or misplaced confidence. Because “Dutch” is used to imply that the courage is not genuine, the term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Dutch. See also Dutch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for dutch courage

Dutch courage

noun

false courage gained from drinking alcohol
alcoholic drink
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

Idioms and Phrases with dutch courage

Dutch courage

False courage acquired by drinking liquor, as in He had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage. This idiom alludes to the reputed heavy drinking of the Dutch, and was first referred to in Edmund Waller's Instructions to a Painter (1665): “The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose, Disarm'd of that from which their courage grows.”

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