See also: Courage



From Middle English corage, from Old French corage (French courage), from Vulgar Latin *corāticum, from Latin cor (heart). Distantly related to cardiac (of the heart), which is from Greek, but from the same Proto-Indo-European root. Displaced Middle English elne, ellen, from Old English ellen (courage, valor).



courage (usually uncountable, plural courages)

  1. The quality of being confident, not afraid or easily intimidated, but without being incautious or inconsiderate.
    • 1860, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life:
      A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.
    It takes a lot of courage to be successful in business.
  2. The ability to overcome one's fear, do or live things which one finds frightening.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1.9.8
      ...courage is the thing by which they are able to take useful actions while amidst hazards...
    He plucked up the courage to tell her how he felt.
    • 1893, Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson and those Extraordinary Twins[1], page 115:
      Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.
  3. The ability to maintain one's will or intent despite either the experience of fear, frailty, or frustration; or the occurrence of adversity, difficulty, defeat or reversal.
    • 1841, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
      Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
    • 1942, C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
      Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”
    • 1960, Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird:
      I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
    • 1993, Stanley P. Cornils, The Mourning After: How to Manage Grief Wisely:
      Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.
    • 2008, Maya Angelou, address for the 2008 Cornell University commencement
      Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
    • 2008, Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay:
      I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


courage (third-person singular simple present courages, present participle couraging, simple past and past participle couraged)

  1. (obsolete) To encourage. [15th-17thc.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter X, in Le Morte Darthur, book XIX:
      And wete yow wel sayd kynge Arthur vnto Vrres syster I shalle begynne to handle hym and serche vnto my power not presumyng vpon me that I am soo worthy to hele youre sone by my dedes / but I wille courage other men of worshyp to doo as I wylle doo
    • 1530, William Tyndale, "An Answer unto Sir Thomas More's Dialogue":
      Paul writeth unto Timothy, to instruct him, to teach him, to exhort, to courage him, to stir him up,

See alsoEdit



cœur +‎ -age or Middle French corage, from Old French corage, from Vulgar Latin *coraticum, from Latin cor.



courage m (plural courages)

  1. courage
    Synonym: bravoure

Derived termsEdit


  • Bulgarian: кураж (kuraž)
  • Macedonian: кураж (kuraž)
  • Romanian: curaj
  • Russian: кураж (kuraž)


courage !

  1. chin up! keep going! take heart!

Usage notesEdit

"bon courage !" has a slightly different meaning: "good luck!".

Further readingEdit