Meaning of COURAGE in English


cour ‧ age S3 /ˈkʌrɪdʒ $ ˈkɜːr-/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: corage , from cuer 'heart' , from Latin cor ]

1 . the quality of being brave when you are facing a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you are very ill ⇨ bravery OPP cowardice :

Sue showed great courage throughout her illness.

courage to do something

Gradually I lost the courage to speak out about anything.

He did not have the courage to tell Nicola that he was ending their affair.

summon/pluck up the courage (to do something) (=find the courage to do something)

I plucked up the courage to go out by myself.

Driving again after his accident must have taken a lot of courage (=needed courage) .

2 . have the courage of your (own) convictions to continue to say or do what you think is right even when other people may not agree or approve

⇨ ↑ Dutch courage

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■ verbs

▪ have courage

She certainly has a lot of courage.

▪ show courage

The pilot showed great skill and courage.

▪ summon (up)/muster your courage (=make yourself feel brave)

Summoning all her courage, she got up to see what the noise was.

▪ bolster your courage (=make it stronger)

They sang and whistled as they marched, to bolster their courage.

▪ sb’s courage fails (=is not great enough to do something)

I was going to jump but my courage failed at the last moment.

▪ something gives you courage (=makes you feel that you have courage)

My mother nodded, which gave me the courage to speak up.

■ phrases

▪ have the courage to do something

I didn’t have the courage to say what I really thought.

▪ find the courage to do something

You must find the courage to deal with the problem.

▪ pluck up/screw up the courage to do something (=try to find it)

He was trying to pluck up the courage to end their relationship.

▪ lack the courage to do something

He lacked the courage to look her full in the face.

▪ It takes courage to do something/sth takes courage (=needs courage)

It takes courage to make a big change in your life like that.

■ adjectives

▪ great courage

The men had fought with great courage.

▪ enough/sufficient courage

Harry plucked up enough courage to ask her out.

▪ personal courage (=the courage of one particular person)

Her recovery owed a great deal to her personal courage.

▪ moral courage (=the courage to do the right thing)

He said his faith gave him the moral courage to survive his ordeal.

▪ physical courage (=the courage to do something physically dangerous or difficult)

It seemed strange that someone of great physical courage could be so unsure of himself in other ways.

▪ political courage (=the courage to take risks in politics)

Do our politicians have the political courage to make unpopular decisions?

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▪ courage the quality of being brave when you are facing a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you are very ill:

the courage of the soldiers


She showed great courage throughout her illness.


He finally plucked up the courage (=found the courage) to ask her for a date.

▪ bravery courage in a dangerous or frightening situation, especially when you are fighting in a war:

He won a medal for bravery during the Iraq war.

▪ guts informal the courage and determination to do something difficult or unpleasant:

It must have taken a lot of guts for him to say that.

▪ heroism very great courage in a dangerous situation:

The President praised the heroism of the firefighters.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.