Definition of bold in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəʊld/


1(Of a person, action, or idea) showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous: a bold attempt to solve the crisis no journalist was bold enough to take on the Prime Minister
More example sentences
  • Andreu, one of the world's leading experts in airport design, has been praised for the exceptional engineering which allows his bold ideas to come to life.
  • To say it is a bold idea is not to say that it's new.
  • His job has been to head a congregation whose assignment is not to generate new and bold ideas, but to preserve the integrity of the tradition of the church.
spirited, confident, positive, decisive, assured, enterprising;
rash, reckless, brash, foolhardy
informal gutsy, spunky, ballsy, game, feisty
literary temerarious
1.1 dated (Of a person or their manner) so confident as to be impudent or presumptuous: she tossed him a bold look
More example sentences
  • No man's Mercedes is safe; the thieves are so bold they'll make off with your vintage automobile with a forklift.
  • With a shrug, Lenore plopped down on the tiny chair of her table, crossing her legs in a bold manner.
  • I believe that such feelings will not be considered bold presumption but an act of love.
1.2Irish (Especially of a child) naughty; badly behaved: I slapped him when he was bold
More example sentences
  • Like a bold boy at a children's party, he still insists on being the centre of attention even though it's not his birthday.
2(Of a colour, design, or shape) having a strong, vivid, or clear appearance: a coat with bold polka dots
More example sentences
  • Utzon's interior design was characterised by bold colours and fantastic shapes.
  • There is less intricacy of detail, and the bold lines and strong colours relate them to North Indian folk art.
  • They are like cartoons, with their bold lines, bright colours and flat shapes.
striking, vivid, bright, strong, eye-catching, conspicuous, distinct, pronounced, prominent, obvious, outstanding, well marked, showy, flashy, gaudy, lurid, garish
2.1Of a kind of typeface having dark, heavy strokes, used especially for emphasis: cross references are printed in bold type
More example sentences
  • As if to emphasise the point, the report prints the comment in bold type.
  • I'd like the following printed on all scorecards in bold type.
  • Paragraph 3 has a footnote at the end in bold type.
heavy, thick, clear, conspicuous, distinct, pronounced, outstanding


[mass noun]
A bold typeface or letter: Shadow cabinet members listed in bold
More example sentences
  • Google will display the search keywords in bold in your ad if they're present.
  • The questions will then pertain to that picture and the answers will be listed in bold under the questions.
  • After I scribble ‘The Dimensional Traveler’ in bold on a blank page, I pick up another blank page.



be (or make) so bold (as to do something)

formal Dare to do something that might be considered audacious (used when politely asking a question or making a suggestion): what would he be calling for, if I might make so bold as to ask?
More example sentences
  • There are plenty of disgusting foods out there, but I don't think there are many companies that would dare to be so bold as to stick a name like Pork Brains In Milk Gravy right on the can.
  • May I be so bold as to suggest one to add to your list.
  • Might I be so bold as to suggest a synchronised charge tomorrow morning?

(as) bold as brass

Confident to the point of impudence: she marched into the library as bold as brass
More example sentences
  • Bold and brash - indeed bold as brass - the young property developer who sauntered into a moribund Tynecastle in 1981 was unfazed that he was not the players' choice.
  • He now has colleagues who are full of confidence, bold as brass and ready to make their way in the world.
  • They waltzed into the party bold as brass and started dancing with two men on the dance floor.

bold stroke

A daring action or initiative: the budget was full of bold strokes
More example sentences
  • They can in one bold stroke change the economic coffee landscape with an initiative in support of the coffee farmers in the global village.
  • It's a pretty bold stroke considering his history on some of these campaign fund-raising issues.
  • In one bold stroke, Google will give new value to millions of orphaned works.


Old English bald, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch boud and to German bald 'soon'.

  • brave from Late Middle English:

    In Old English people with all the attributes of bravery were ‘bold’. In the Middle Ages they could also be ‘courageous’, but it was not until the late 15th century that they became brave. The word came through French from Italian or Spanish bravo and goes back to Latin barbarus, the source of barbarian. Scots braw (late 16th century) ‘fine’, bravado (mid 16th century), bravo (mid 18th century), and bravura (mid 18th century) all go back to the same source. The phrase brave new world refers to a new or hopeful period of history brought about by major changes in society—usually implying that the changes are in fact undesirable. It is taken from the title of a satirical novel by Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), published in 1932. Huxley himself borrowed the phrase from a line in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Miranda has grown up isolated on an island with her magician father Prospero, the monster Caliban, and some spirits. On first encountering some other humans she exclaims: ‘How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people in it!’

Words that rhyme with bold

behold, cold, enfold, fold, foretold, gold, hold, mould (US mold), old, outsold, scold, self-controlled, sold, told, uncontrolled, undersold, unpolled, uphold, withhold, wold

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bold

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