Courageous – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Courageous – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Courageous meaning refers to having bravery and fearlessness in the face of danger or adversity and displaying strength of character.

History of the Word Courageous


It traces its roots to the Latin word cor, meaning heart. In Old French, corage denoted heartiness and spirit, leading to Middle English courage by the 14th century. Historically, it related to a strong heart or inner strength, rather than physical bravery.

Over time, it evolved to emphasize bravery and fearlessness in confronting challenges, adversity, or danger.


In the English language, it gained prominence during the Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment, reflecting the growing importance of individual valor and moral strength. Today, it stands as a central virtue, lauding those who act resolutely in difficult situations, irrespective of fear.

English (Courageous As Adjective)


From Old French courageous, rooted in Latin cor (heart), symbolizing inner strength and bravery.


Pronunciation of courageous: /kuh-RAY-juhs/.

Forms of Courageous

Adjective Courageous
Comparative Degree More courageous
Superlative Degree Most courageous
Adverb Courageously
Noun Courageousness


  • Brave
  • Fearless
  • Heroic
  • Valiant
  • Daring
  • Gallant
  • Intrepid
  • Dauntless
  • Resolute
  • Bold


  • Cowardly
  • Timid
  • Fearful
  • Spineless
  • Faint-hearted
  • Craven
  • Apprehensive
  • Pusillanimous
  • Timorous
  • Hesitant

Derived Terms

  • Courageously
  • Courageousness

Translations of Courageous

  • Spanish: Valiente
  • French: Courageux / Courageuse
  • German: Mutig
  • Italian: Coraggioso
  • Portuguese: Corajoso
  • Dutch: Moedig
  • Russian: Смелый (Smelyy)
  • Chinese (Simplified): 勇敢的 (Yǒnggǎn de)
  • Courageous meaning in Hindi: बहादुर (Bahadur)
  • Urdu: بہادر (Bahadur)

Example Sentences

  • The courageous leader leads the nation in the right way.
  • She showed courageous determination in pursuing her dreams.
  • Their courageous stand for justice inspired the community.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

What does courageous mean?

It describes individuals who display bravery and fearlessness in challenging or dangerous situations.

Can you suggest synonyms for courageous to use in writing?

Synonyms include brave, heroic, and valiant.

Are there antonyms for courageous to describe those lacking courage?

Yes, antonyms include cowardly and timid.

How does courage relate to moral and ethical strength?

It often signifies the moral fortitude to stand up for what is right despite adversity.

Who are some historically courageous figures?

Historical examples include Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Joan of Arc, known for their exceptional courage in the face of challenges.

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