from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have the courage required for.
  • intransitive verb To challenge (someone) to do something requiring boldness.
  • intransitive verb To confront boldly; brave: synonym: defy.
  • intransitive verb To be courageous or bold enough to do or try something.
  • intransitive verb To be courageous or bold enough to.
  • noun An act of daring; a challenge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be bold enough (to do something); have courage, strength of mind, or hardihood (to undertake some action or project); not to be afraid; venture: followed by an infinitive (with or without to) as object, or sometimes, by ellipsis, used absolutely.
  • [Originally and still often used in the third person of the present tense without a personal termination, and in such case always followed by the infinitive without to: as, he dare not do it.
  • To venture on; attempt boldly to perform.
  • To challenge; provoke to action, especially by asserting or implying that one lacks courage to accept the challenge; defy: as, to dare a man to fight.
  • To arouse; rouse.
  • noun The quality of being daring; venturesomeness; boldness; dash; spirit.
  • noun A challenge; defiance.
  • noun A mirror for daring larks.
  • noun Same as dace, 1.
  • noun A Middle English form of deer.
  • To be in fear; tremble with fear; be stupefied or dazed with fear. Specifically
  • To lie still in fear; lurk in dread; especially, lie or squat close to the ground, like a frightened bird or hare; look anxiously around, as such a lurking creature.
  • To droop; languish.
  • To strike with fear; terrify; daunt; dismay.
  • To terrify and catch (larks), as by means of a mirror or a piece of red cloth, or by walking round with a hawk on the fist where they are crouching, and then throwing a net over them.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To have adequate or sufficient courage for any purpose; to be bold or venturesome; not to be afraid; to venture.
  • transitive verb To have courage for; to attempt courageously; to venture to do or to undertake.
  • transitive verb To challenge; to provoke; to defy.
  • noun rare The quality of daring; venturesomeness; boldness; dash.
  • noun Defiance; challenge.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To lurk; to lie hid.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A small fish; the dace.
  • transitive verb obsolete To terrify; to daunt.
  • transitive verb to catch them by producing terror through to use of mirrors, scarlet cloth, a hawk, etc., so that they lie still till a net is thrown over them.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small fish, the dace.
  • verb intransitive To have enough courage (to do something).
  • verb transitive To defy or challenge (someone to do something)
  • verb transitive To have enough courage to meet or do something, go somewhere, etc.; to face up to
  • noun A challenge to prove courage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb to be courageous enough to try or do something
  • verb challenge
  • noun a challenge to do something dangerous or foolhardy
  • verb take upon oneself; act presumptuously, without permission


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English daren, from Old English dearr, first and third person sing. present indicative of durran, to venture, dare; see dhers- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English darian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English durran, from Proto-Germanic *durzanan, from Proto-Indo-European. Cognate with Ancient Greek θαρσεῖν, Lithuanian drįsti.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word dare.


  • And warmly and kindling dare -- yes, _dare_ to hope,

    Autographs for Freedom, Volume 2 (of 2) (1854) Various

  • I dare you to go and ask him about it; I _dare_ you to; and see what he says.

    Roy Blakely, Pathfinder Percy Keese Fitzhugh 1913

  • "Do you dare -- do you _dare_ look your own daughter in the eye and say she is no lady?"

    Queed Henry Sydnor Harrison 1905

  • I wanted to know, only I didn't dare -- actually didn't _dare_, for Ellaline's sake, to speak angrily.

    Set in Silver 1901

  • "I dare you, _dare_, you to tell 'em, Jane," Polk suddenly said, coming over and putting a hand on one of my shoulders and one on Jane's.

    The Tinder-Box Maria Thompson Daviess 1898

  • "How dare you! how _dare_ you!" cried Elsie, stamping her foot, and drawing a long, sobbing breath.

    Elsie's Womanhood Martha Finley 1868

  • "How dare I-- _dare_ I-- tell you that I love you and want you for wife?

    Leonie of the Jungle Joan Conquest

  • "How dare you, sirrah, hold such language to me -- how _dare_ you?

    The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 Various

  • Did you dare, Eloise Evringham, did you _dare_ spoil your life -- my life -- our future, by scaring Dr. Ballard with that bugbear? "

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham 1890

  • I tried to write a tweet once, on a dare from a coworker, and I failed.

    2009 July « 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.