Definition of brave in English:

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Pronunciation: /brāv/


1Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage: a brave soldier he put up a brave fight before losing
More example sentences
  • Cheshire junior girls put up a brave fight before losing by a point to Yorkshire at Low Laithes in an inter-county fixture.
  • For all their faults, Ireland put up a brave fight against the professional Australian side and are not without hope of redeeming themselves in Melbourne in a week.
  • George had put up a brave fight over the sixteen months of his illness, with frequent trips to hospital, but was always positive and hopeful.
1.1 literary Fine or splendid in appearance: his medals made a brave show
More example sentences
  • A fine, brave world awaits the new parliament.
  • It was a sad way to end a week that has forced her name to the forefront of British women's tennis and allowed her to generate an enthusiasm for the sport with a colourful personality and a brave style of play.
  • As alien as the imported trees, they make the only spark of brave colour in the landscape, diverting the eye from the soft ruin of mulched leaves along the kerbs.
splendid, magnificent, impressive, fine, handsome


1 (as plural noun the brave) People who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.
2 dated An American Indian warrior.
Example sentences
  • Thwarting a U.S. raid at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, Sioux and Cheyenne braves took no prisoners, killing Custer and 265 of his men.
  • When the Cavalry invested Indian encampments, they periodically encountered warrior braves beside women and children.
  • The two brave warriors are about to be absorbed.
warrior, soldier, fighter
2.1A young man who shows courage or a fighting spirit.


[with object]
Endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear: we had to brave the full heat of the sun
More example sentences
  • The last few weeks have been relatively quiet in the West, with few anglers braving the cold conditions.
  • Since she was a child, Elliott has loved the outdoors, so she's used to braving unsavoury weather conditions.
  • But like his hardened ancestors from Achill island he braved the weather and endured.
endure, put up with, bear, withstand, weather, suffer, go through;
face, confront, defy



brave new world

Used to refer, often ironically, to a new and hopeful period in history resulting from major changes in society: the brave new world of computing
More example sentences
  • But before we as a society plunge headlong into a brave new world of hi-tech crime detection there are some real concerns to be addressed.
  • We are entering this brave new world with our eyes closed to the impact on individuals, on communities and on our social institutions.
  • He gives no examples of course, so we don't get to see this brave new world of Teddy Bear Fiscal Policy and Warm Cuddles Economics.

brave the elements

Go outside in spite of poor weather conditions: many people braved the elements to enjoy the attractions
More example sentences
  • They found themselves in the middle of a tough decision: scrap the trip, or press on and brave the elements in hopes that the storm would pass.
  • For something completely different, brave the elements in an Icelandic outdoor hot pool.
  • Many traditional climbers braved the elements in the early morning to make the ascent to the top.

put a brave face on something

see face.



Example sentences
  • For them, it symbolizes machismo - braveness, courage and the feel of ‘being a man'.
  • A richly layered anti-realist film, it showed a real courage and braveness to explore and experiment formally.
  • I told him he was the bravest man I'd ever known, leaving out how his braveness usually crossed the line into pigheaded stupidity (one should cut someone a little slack when he's on his deathbed).


Late 15th century: from French, from Italian bravo 'bold' or Spanish bravo 'courageous, untamed, savage', based on Latin barbarus (see barbarous).

  • 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 brave

behave, Cave, clave, concave, crave, Dave, deprave, engrave, enslave, fave, forgave, gave, grave, knave, lave, Maeve, misbehave, misgave, nave, outbrave, pave, rave, save, shave, shortwave, slave, stave, they've, waive, wave

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: brave

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