Definition of courage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkʌrɪdʒ/


[mass noun]
1The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery: she called on all her courage to face the ordeal
More example sentences
  • Where are the politicians who have the ability and the moral courage to grasp it?
  • He's enraged but he can't help but admire her courage and her ability to stand up to him.
  • To describe him as a leader of courage and integrity is asking too much of a very sceptical British public.
1.1Strength in the face of pain or grief: he fought his illness with great courage
More example sentences
  • Earl was such a shining example of courage and strength as he relied on his faith in the Lord.
  • That gives him the strength and courage to confront whatever evil may be awaiting him.
  • Then, drawing on every reserve of strength and courage, she drew the stinger forth.



have the courage of one's convictions

Act on one’s beliefs despite danger or disapproval: lead your own life and have the courage of your convictions
More example sentences
  • But never mind, he had the courage of his convictions and you can't knock people for their beliefs (but they feel it's OK for them to knock you because of them).
  • And good on you for having the courage of your convictions.
  • Labour's problem, like that of the Tories, is all about having the courage of your convictions.

pluck up (or screw up or take) courage

Make an effort to do something that frightens one: I plucked up the courage to go out by myself
More example sentences
  • I admire her passion and courage, as let's face it, it takes courage for a woman to refuse to breed these days, but still, despite my ambition I can't imagine life without a child.
  • It took courage because it was a real scary time, y'know?
  • This was a life-affirming, emotionally and intellectually liberating message, and it took courage and conviction to be the messenger.

take one's courage in both hands

Nerve oneself to do something that frightens one: taking her courage in both hands, she knocked on the door
More example sentences
  • Then, at the end of last year and at the age of 26, the Frenchwoman finally took her courage in both hands and won the Tour championships.
  • What's interesting here is that the whistleblowers take their courage in both hands and allow themselves to be named.
  • When will our MPs, sent to Parliament to represent the true interests of the people of the country, take their courage in both hands and vote to dispose of him?


Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor 'heart'.

  • cordial from Middle English:

    The Latin word cordis meant ‘to do with the heart’, and this is the source and original meaning of cordial. It was not long before the adjective was being used to describe drinks as ‘comforting’ or ‘stimulating the heart’, and the core ‘heart’ meaning came to be applied to people too, in connection with actions or behaviour that seemed sincere and heartfelt—acting ‘from the heart’. The root, Latin cor ‘heart’, is the source of many words, including chord, discord (Middle English), and courage (Middle English). Heart itself came from the same ancient root.

Words that rhyme with courage

demurrage, encourage

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cour|age

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