Merriam Webster Word of the Day: Bravado

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is bravado. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Bravado refers to confident or brave talk or behavior that is intended to impress other people.

// Her stories of her exploits during the “olden days” are always told with enough bravado to invite some suspicion that they’re embellished a bit.

// The crew of free soloists scaled the mountain with admirable bravado.

BRAVADO in Context

“Ferrari is the supercar of choice for those who want to flaunt their wealth with a bit of growling and occasionally snarling V-12 bravado.” — Neil Winton, Forbes, 17 June 2022

Did You Know?

Displays of bravado may be show-offish, daring, reckless, and inconsistent with good sense—take, for example, the spectacular feats of stuntpeople—but when successful they are still likely to be met with shouts of “bravo!” Celebrities, political leaders, corporate giants, and schoolyard bullies, however, may show a different flavor of bravado: one that suggests an overbearing boldness that comes from arrogance or a position of power. The word bravadooriginally comes from the Old Italian adjective bravo, meaning “wild” or “courageous,” which English has also to thank for the more ubiquitous brave.

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