brave
Pronunciation Adjective

brave (comparative braver, superlative bravest)

  1. Strong in the face of fear; courageous.
    Synonyms: bold, daring, doughty, orped, resilient, stalwart
    Antonyms: cowardly, fearful, mean, weak
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Chapter 21:
      Do not fret, dear. You must be brave and strong, and help me through the horrible task. If you only knew what an effort it is to me to tell of this fearful thing at all, you would understand how much I need your help.
    • 1987, Michael Grumley, The Last Diary:
      […] he has been so brave, giving it all a dignity.
  2. (obsolete) Having any sort of superiority or excellence.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Plantations
      Iron is a brave commodity where wood aboundeth.
    • It being a brave day, I walked to Whitehall.
  3. Making a fine show or display.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iv]:
      Wear my dagger with the braver grace.
    • For I have gold, and therefore will be brave. / In silks I'll rattle it of every color.
    • Frog and lizard in holiday coats / And turtle brave in his golden spots.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills, […] a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Russian: дивный
Noun

brave (plural braves)

  1. (dated) A Native American warrior.
  2. (obsolete) A man daring beyond discretion; a bully.
    • Hot braves like thee may fight.
  3. (obsolete) A challenge; a defiance; bravado.
    • c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      Demetrius, thou dost overween in all; / And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
Translations
  • German: Krieger
  • Russian: инде́йский во́ин
Verb

brave (braves, present participle braving; past and past participle braved)

  1. (transitive) To encounter with courage and fortitude, to defy, to provoke.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, sc. 3:
      For Cassius is aweary of the world;
      Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
      Checked like a bondman; all his faults observed,
      Set in a notebook, learned, and conned by rote,
      To cast into my teeth.
    • 1670, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour, or, The Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards:
      The ills of Love, not those of Fate, I fear,
      These I can brave, but those I cannot bear […]
    • 1773, A Farmer, Rivington's New-York Gazetteer, Number 53, December 2
      […] but they [Parliament] never will be braved into it.
    After braving tricks on the high-dive, he braved a jump off the first diving platform.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To adorn; to make fine or showy.
    • ca. 1590–92, William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, sc. 3 (addressed to a tailor; first use in sense of "adorn", second and third uses in sense of "confront"):
      Face not me. Thou hast braved many men; brave
      not me. I will neither be faced nor braved.
Related terms




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