Definition of dare in English:



  • 1Have the courage to do something.

    ‘a story he dare not write down’
    ‘she leaned forward as far as she dared’
    • ‘I did receive a kind note from a visitor who thanked me for my courage, and for daring to portray Mary in that way.’
    • ‘He went on air on a Sunday afternoon and captivated his audience for three hours, nobody daring to ‘switch that dial’ as he would say himself!’
    • ‘Once Brett passed away, some were ready to say nobody would dare try to fill his shoes.’
    • ‘Nobody even dared to look at me when I ran out: George was shooting daggers at any straying eyes.’
    • ‘Everybody knew what the answer was, but nobody dared to speak up first.’
    • ‘I'm still in shock from the after effects of that kiss, surprised at my own daring and marveling at Jake's sheer adorableness at the same time.’
    • ‘At a time when even the secret services are bound by the demands of openness and transparency, nobody dares put their name to any demand that might be construed as underhand.’
    • ‘Nobody dared to dream that they would end up winning three.’
    • ‘But nobody had dared to link the Prime Minister with what was being done in his name.’
    • ‘A more obvious explanation stares European governments in the face, but nobody dares to act.’
    • ‘As only God was considered to be perfect, nobody dared to throw the first stone.’
    • ‘In a society of individualists nobody dare admit to being a conformist.’
    • ‘When Hampson closes his eyes at the end and bows his head, nobody dares to clap.’
    • ‘Nobody dared speculate yesterday as to what that margin might be.’
    • ‘It was a rainy, bleak, and dark midsummer night, when nobody dared even to step through the door.’
    • ‘Nobody in his country dared to befriend him because of his important status.’
    • ‘The buildings are dark and lifeless; nobody dares to light any lanterns or candles.’
    • ‘So far, nobody has dared to suggest that European politicians could be the culprits.’
    • ‘He also did not want to get into the position where nobody would dare confront him about the matter.’
    • ‘Almost nobody dares to walk there, due to the snow.’
    • ‘And suddenly I had the impression that there is an invisible line surrounding our cardinal that nobody dares to cross.’
    be brave enough, have the courage, pluck up courage, take the risk
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used to express indignation at something.
      ‘how dare you talk to me like that!’
      • ‘That is not true and you know it… how dare you even say that about me.’
      • ‘Ms Hayes said there had been smokers who had made comments such as: ‘The cheek of you, how dare you tell us what to do?’’
      • ‘They were slapping my hand and saying: ‘Naughty boy - how dare you stand up to us’?’
      • ‘How dare you to interfere where you don't belong?’
      • ‘How dare you try to make me feel selfish and isolationist when I am grieving?’
      • ‘How dare you accuse me of something like that!’
    2. 1.2Used to order someone threateningly not to do something.
      ‘don't you dare touch me’
      • ‘Don't you dare blush; don't you dare blush, Sophie!’
      • ‘My mother worked as a clerk in a lousy factory, the kind of place where you had 10 minutes for a cigarette break in the morning, and don't you dare take 11 minutes.’
      • ‘I didn't choose him and don't you dare ever bring him up again.’
      • ‘Don't you dare call me that.’
      • ‘For once I got it looking just the way I wanted this morning, so don't you dare even try to mess it up.’
      • ‘And I do love you, and don't you dare contradict me.’
      • ‘Either way, I will be leaving tomorrow so don't you dare try to stop me.’
      • ‘But don't you dare tell them I told you any of this!’
      • ‘Don't you dare speak to your father that way!’
      • ‘‘You can tell me that but don't you dare tell him.’’
      • ‘Of course that is out of bounds to you so don't you dare enter it.’
      • ‘And don't you dare come back talking trash about how unpatriotic I am.’
      • ‘And don't you dare try and tell me how I'm being selfish, Cailie McCoy, because I've been in the damn backseat to you for as long as I can remember!’
      • ‘I'm going to my room, and don't you dare think about following me in there!’
      • ‘And don't you dare to say my sister isn't pretty!’
      • ‘But whatever it is I'm threatening to do, don't you dare think I won't follow through on it.’
      • ‘And don't you dare complain about unruly behaviour and wayward teenagers who have no focus when you are going to shut down the one place they have to get help.’
      • ‘A mandatory national ID card - don't you dare leave home without it!’
      • ‘And I have only one thing to say: don't you dare go around saying that I can't learn anything I damn well want to thank you very much.’
      • ‘Hey buddy, that's a Louis Vuitton, don't you dare touch it!’
  • 2[with object and infinitive] Defy or challenge (someone) to do something.

    ‘she was daring him to disagree’
    [with object] ‘swap with me, I dare you’
    • ‘His blue eyes stared at her challengingly, as if daring her to tell him to move.’
    • ‘Buck's eyes glared challengingly at her, daring her to dispute the will.’
    • ‘Tariq walked back onto the court, shrugging his shoulders in a kind of taunt, as if daring someone to challenge his stark conclusion.’
    • ‘Caitlin raised her eyebrows, daring him to disagree.’
    • ‘Colton still stood there holding the sword as if daring any thief to challenge him.’
    • ‘Christy smirks, daring me to challenge her position.’
    • ‘Jonathon's tepid gaze defied her, dared her to lose her temper.’
    • ‘He looked me in the eye practically daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘The first half of this action-filled story is so alive and challenging that it dares the audience to take its eyes from the stage, until the breathing space of the interval.’
    • ‘Luna could feel a presence around Tiamat that dared people to challenge her.’
    • ‘His unique eyes challenged hers, daring her to go back on her word.’
    • ‘Marka's violet eyes glared at him, Simian's light brown ones flashed at her, daring her to challenge him again.’
    • ‘She smirked at me… challenging me, daring me to prove her accusation wrong… And I couldn't.’
    • ‘Redfern said he doubted the law would be overturned and dared anyone to challenge it.’
    • ‘He took a step towards me, brown eyes daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘He looks at me, daring me to challenge his coolness.’
    • ‘We glared at each other for a few more seconds, his silver eyes narrowed slightly, daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘She looked to Alyx, daring him to challenge her logic.’
    • ‘He made ridiculous demands, daring people to defy them. ‘Mad with power’ didn't even begin to cover it.’
    • ‘With a sneer she finished and straightened up, adopting an air that dared me to challenge her.’
    • ‘He looked straight into Heero's eyes, daring him to challenge what he was about to say next.’
    challenge, provoke, goad, taunt, defy, summon, invite, bid
    View synonyms
  • 3literary [with object] Take the risk of; brave.

    ‘few dared his wrath’
    • ‘Her dance instructor was one of the few who dared the wrath of the king, and spoke to the young girl, whom he pitied.’
    • ‘She had never been brave enough to dare even a tame ride around the temple grounds on its back after that.’
    • ‘Even now, interviewed thirty years later, the wife yells at the husband for daring the wrath of these wiseguys.’


  • A challenge, especially to prove courage.

    ‘she ran across a main road for a dare’
    • ‘I had randomly approached him and had a little conversation with him due to a dare Riley had challenged me to.’
    • ‘John told us a funny story that I'd never heard about how he climbed his school's roof for a dare.’
    • ‘She awoke slowly, her head throbbing as it had the time she had taken a whole tankard of ale on a dare from the boys.’
    • ‘Take on a dare, and demonstrate that you don't always take yourself so seriously.’
    • ‘We would camp out in the backyard and run naked through the grass on a dare.’
    • ‘Crazy South African Guy, on a dare, drank five cans of Coke in under ten minutes.’
    • ‘His start came at the tender age of 18 when he began performing stand-up comedy on a dare from his University dorm mates.’
    • ‘Serious suggestions are good too. This is not really a dares request.’
    • ‘Moffit was not the kind of man to make a brag or take a dare or issue a challenge.’
    • ‘‘They will be fairly straightforward dares, with lots of humour though some might require a bit of skill and gut,’ says Ho.’
    • ‘Glenn Hughes was a toll collector at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel until he auditioned for the San Francisco band on a dare.’
    • ‘It was during recess and I climbed into a first floor classroom window on a dare by Billy Aredo.’
    • ‘They begin a long game of dares, passing the tin back and forth between them.’
    • ‘There's the time Morrieson drove his car along the main trunk line for a dare.’
    • ‘On her fifteenth birthday she had stupidly agreed to jump off a branch of a willow tree over a shallow ravine some ten feet below on a dare.’
    • ‘The teenager who's later revealed as the injured driver, asks his friend if he'd complete a number of absurd dares.’
    • ‘It is believed the youngsters started climbing as a dare.’
    • ‘No doubt someone will tell us the design meets the necessary standards, but if so, the standards do not recognise what children will do for a dare.’
    • ‘Scarlet's face lit up as if she had just had the most perfect idea for a dare.’
    • ‘He felt like a schoolboy on a dare, though he admitted he would have been much more afraid had he been a schoolboy at that time.’
    challenge, provocation, goad, taunt
    gauntlet, invitation, ultimatum, summons
    View synonyms


  • i dare say (or daresay)

    • Used to indicate that one believes something is probable.

      ‘I dare say you've heard about her’
      • ‘Chopin ‘saddens’ the original theme in a manner which is, I daresay, objectively verifiable: the minor key descent is right there on the page.’
      • ‘It's a lot of money, but I daresay a lot is expected of him.’
      • ‘For me, the culprit is not really important, although I daresay a lot of Americans feel very differently.’
      • ‘They are older than the Pyramids, arguably even more important in the history of civilisation, and, may I dare say, more impressive.’
      • ‘The opening percussions were over-eager-almost, I dare say, off time.’
      • ‘I reckon that I need it although it is well over a month since we last visited the French estate and I dare say that it will be overrun with weeds, rodents and exciting new forms of insect life!’
      • ‘This must have been a very distressing for all his family but I daresay they got used to it.’
      i assume, i expect, i believe, i presume, i take it, i suppose, i imagine, i dare say, i would have thought, it is to be presumed, i guess, in all probability, probably, in all likelihood, all things being equal, all things considered, as like as not, as likely as not, doubtless, undoubtedly, no doubt, without doubt
      View synonyms


Old English durran, of Germanic origin; related to Gothic gadaursan, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek tharsein and Sanskrit dhṛṣ- be bold.