Definition of bold in English:



  • 1(of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

    ‘a bold attempt to solve the crisis’
    ‘he was the only one bold enough to air his dislike’
    • ‘In its first national advertising campaign, Infinite Spirits took a bold risk.’
    • ‘I have the experience and I have the bold ideas that I think people can get really excited about in this campaign.’
    • ‘Yet because we yearn to be seen as bold, brave and courageous, we'll take stupid risks to prove our worth.’
    • ‘It's a bold concept, but one that's smartly conveyed by its paintings and hypnotic jingle.’
    • ‘Without them and their bold thoughts Keighley would not be what it is today.’
    • ‘His job has been to head a congregation whose assignment is not to generate new and bold ideas, but to preserve the integrity of the tradition of the church.’
    • ‘Plato had made the bold suggestion that there might be a single axiom system to embrace all knowledge.’
    • ‘But Brian, I'd like you to consider a bold suggestion.’
    • ‘Anything lowering their chances of being spotted by Liches sounded like a good idea, so the tension at Raven's bold suggestion quickly subsided.’
    • ‘The customers' bold suggestion was to launch a restaurant of their own, but Huang was still quite cautious about it.’
    • ‘It is in that light that the bold suggestion is made for a Caribbean Banking Consortium.’
    • ‘To say it is a bold idea is not to say that it's new.’
    • ‘The others, who had gathered to discuss the problem, gasped in shock at such a bold suggestion.’
    • ‘Most were young, hardy, physically fit, courageous, fearless, bold, endowed with fortitude and endurance, and ever ready for a fight.’
    • ‘All the bold opinions have been stated and restated for years.’
    • ‘Judge Jones was a bankruptcy lawyer and an authority on business law, but has perhaps received more attention for her bold opinions on social issues and criminal law.’
    • ‘Because of his bold recommendations to higher headquarters, he was assigned to build up defensive units.’
    • ‘Andreu, one of the world's leading experts in airport design, has been praised for the exceptional engineering which allows his bold ideas to come to life.’
    • ‘While Nicky watched and marvelled, his father Paul, rating Rio the finest place he has been, was struck by the bold attitudes towards poverty.’
    • ‘Kamenskii stakes out a series of bold interpretations in this study, ably translated and edited by David Griffiths.’
    daring, intrepid, courageous, brave, valiant, fearless, unafraid, undaunted, dauntless, valorous
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    1. 1.1dated (of a person or manner) so confident as to suggest a lack of shame or modesty.
      ‘she tossed him a bold look’
      • ‘Raven doubted that any woman had ever been this bold with him before.’
      • ‘No man's Mercedes is safe; the thieves are so bold they'll make off with your vintage automobile with a forklift.’
      • ‘With a shrug, Lenore plopped down on the tiny chair of her table, crossing her legs in a bold manner.’
      • ‘I believe that such feelings will not be considered bold presumption but an act of love.’
      • ‘Whatever bold words she wished to say to her would have to remain behind a careful mouth.’
      brazen, shameless, forward, brash, impudent, audacious, cheeky, saucy, cocky, pert, impertinent, insolent, presumptuous, immodest, unabashed, unreserved, barefaced, unshrinking, defiant, brass-necked, bold as brass
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  • 2(of a color or design) having a strong or vivid appearance.

    ‘a coat with bold polka dots’
    • ‘They are like cartoons, with their bold lines, bright colours and flat shapes.’
    • ‘The end product is a strong, vibrant painting in bold colours with a wealth of detail capturing the jumble of roofs and chimneys.’
    • ‘She uses bright colours in bold designs to convey an impression of viewing the basic, unadulterated image.’
    • ‘Just make sure the colors you choose fit with the bold hues of your design.’
    • ‘The Romans called them the ‘painted people’, and the Celtic love of colour is obvious in the bold designs on their floors and walls.’
    • ‘In Spain he created abstract work featuring vivid colors and bold lines.’
    • ‘Young readers will love the bright, bold designs and the luscious colours.’
    • ‘There is less intricacy of detail, and the bold lines and strong colours relate them to North Indian folk art.’
    • ‘His symbolism is strong and his colours are bold.’
    • ‘The combination of the shapes and bold colours creates a stimulating image.’
    • ‘With new paints, dyes and synthetic fabrics, bright bold colour was avidly adopted in all aspects of design.’
    • ‘Bright colours and clear bold graphics make the menu practical and aesthetically pleasing.’
    • ‘He has composed a series of townships scenes in flat planes of bright and bold colours that clamour for attention.’
    • ‘Utzon's interior design was characterised by bold colours and fantastic shapes.’
    • ‘They're also attracted to bright, bold colours and sharp outlines, and any sudden movement may attract their gaze.’
    • ‘Using a brush and a matchstick to paint his decoys, Bergman achieved a unique balance between vivid colors, bold lines, and scratch painting.’
    • ‘Facing west is a bold design of a fourfold leaf with a tiny, barely noticeable face in the centre.’
    • ‘The switches are large and solid, and the bold shapes and contours give the impression of utility without ever approaching the austere.’
    • ‘His designs were bold and sexy, with bright red dominating transparent and undulating fabrics.’
    • ‘They are bold shapes; strong blocks of colour defined by thick black lines and veiled with subtle, intricate patterns of feathers, scales and seashells.’
    striking, vivid, bright, strong, eye-catching, conspicuous, distinct, pronounced, prominent, obvious, outstanding, well marked, showy, flashy, gaudy, lurid, garish
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    1. 2.1Of a kind of typeface having dark, heavy strokes, used especially for emphasis.
      • ‘As if to emphasise the point, the report prints the comment in bold type.’
      • ‘On the list of active chatters, a certain name in bold type sat above everyone else.’
      • ‘It's his name in bold type above the film's title and his beatific image on the poster.’
      • ‘The final paragraph of the letter, printed in bold type, made it very clear what would happen if they didn't accept.’
      • ‘I'd like the following printed on all scorecards in bold type.’
      • ‘It's not often that an author is prompted to make a statement in bold type to correct what he sees as a gross misunderstanding.’
      • ‘Kelman reproduces it, with the cut portions in bold type, emphasising only what a good job was made of editing it.’
      • ‘Predictions of exceptionally high tides are given in bold type.’
      • ‘Such themes are all clearly presented in the body of the commentary and helpfully emphasised in bold type.’
      • ‘I emphasize the translated word in question in bold type.’
      • ‘I noted at the time that each pen was emblazoned in bold type with the word WASHABLE.’
      • ‘The differences from the previously reported sequences are in bold type’
      • ‘Only what is in bold type above was quoted in the evidence to the Court.’
      • ‘Subheadings within chapters are in bold type for easy chapter outlining.’
      • ‘Parameters to which the model is sensitive are in bold type.’
      • ‘The sites associated with the separation between Ethiopia and Europe are also given in bold type.’
      • ‘Key words and concepts in these lessons are in bold type.’
      • ‘It's important to stress the words in bold type.’
      • ‘Significant differences are shown in bold type.’
      • ‘Paragraph 3 has a footnote at the end in bold type.’
      heavy, thick, clear, conspicuous, distinct, pronounced, outstanding
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  • A bold typeface or letter.

    ‘difficult words and phrases are highlighted in bold’
    • ‘The links are very easily read, the headlines are concise, and the use of bold in the copy allows for skimming without interfering with reading.’
    • ‘Google will display the search keywords in bold in your ad if they're present.’
    • ‘You must include the ‘code’ indicated in bold in order for your meta tags to work.’
    • ‘Start putting keyword phrases in bold in the second paragraph.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it appears to be missing a ‘not’ in a vital sentence in bold on its opening page.’
    • ‘Numbers in bold at the beginning of each specimen's name are sample numbers.’
    • ‘Pages not for public dissemination should be annotated in bold at the bottom with the reserved term ‘classified.’’
    • ‘After I scribble ‘The Dimensional Traveler’ in bold on a blank page, I pick up another blank page.’
    • ‘The questions will then pertain to that picture and the answers will be listed in bold under the questions.’


  • be (or make) so bold (as to do something)

    • formal Dare to do something (often used when politely asking a question or making a suggestion)

      ‘what would he be calling for, if I might make so bold as to ask?’
      • ‘I have been so bold as to rank the Bengali icons of the past hundred years.’
      • ‘Might I be so bold as to suggest a synchronised charge tomorrow morning?’
      • ‘In fact I would even be so bold as to contend that I have a much better argument on the evidence than Peggy does.’
      • ‘I have always thought that Stanley was saying, in coded form, that he was being so bold as to speak to a gentleman to whom he hadn't been introduced.’
      • ‘If my friend can be so bold as to say I'm one of the funniest five people on the planet, why stop there?’
      • ‘The people of the Pairc district of Lewis have decided to be so bold as to opt to buy the land where they live from their landlord despite the estate not being on the market.’
      • ‘There are plenty of disgusting foods out there, but I don't think there are many companies that would dare to be so bold as to stick a name like Pork Brains In Milk Gravy right on the can.’
      • ‘May I be so bold as to suggest one to add to your list.’
      • ‘This time, however, the judges have been so bold as to overturn a jury decision on the simple basis that in their view no reasonable jury could have arrived at the verdict that it did.’
      • ‘Might I also be so bold as to ask why it was rejected in any case?’
  • (as) bold as brass

    • Confident to the point of impudence.

      ‘she marched into the library as bold as brass’
      • ‘He would go around the country and all the small towns and he would be as bold as brass.’
      • ‘He was as bold as brass as we exchanged pleasantries and thought nothing of the remarks that he had made.’
      • ‘She left a glorious legacy in an image of female strength that is as bold as brass, supremely self-confident and unashamedly sexual.’
      • ‘I thought it would be hard to find, but there it was, bold as brass, with a sign and everything.’
      • ‘They waltzed into the party bold as brass and started dancing with two men on the dance floor.’
      • ‘Surely it would have been easier to run through the streets, bold as brass, killing anything and anyone that got in his way.’
      • ‘Bold and brash - indeed bold as brass - the young property developer who sauntered into a moribund Tynecastle in 1981 was unfazed that he was not the players' choice.’
      • ‘Anybody who can walk into someone's house as bold as brass and attempt to commit a serious offence has to be viewed as a menace to society.’
      • ‘Then they had returned, arm in arm, smiling secretly at each other and bold as brass.’
      • ‘He now has colleagues who are full of confidence, bold as brass and ready to make their way in the world.’
      brazen, shameless, forward, brash, impudent, audacious, cheeky, saucy, cocky, pert, impertinent, insolent, presumptuous, immodest, unabashed, unreserved, barefaced, unshrinking, defiant, brass-necked, bold as brass
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  • a bold stroke

    • A daring action or initiative.

      • ‘In order to have a chance at anything but defeat, Sharon had to seize the advantage by some bold stroke.’
      • ‘And that is what he invented recursive functions for, a bold stroke for which he would indeed deserve to be declared a hero of our times.’
      • ‘They can in one bold stroke change the economic coffee landscape with an initiative in support of the coffee farmers in the global village.’
      • ‘It's a pretty bold stroke considering his history on some of these campaign fund-raising issues.’
      • ‘This was a bold stroke by the board.’
      • ‘It called for a bold stroke, not considered Pierce's forté.’
      • ‘While these men were not social revolutionaries bent on overturning the slave system in one bold stroke, nor were they solely foot draggers content to slow production.’
      • ‘The team is expected to be active on Draft Day and could help its cause by making a bold stroke.’
      • ‘This was an incredibly bold stroke, and they could have been worried about retribution coming at any minute.’
      • ‘In one bold stroke, Google will give new value to millions of orphaned works.’
  • put a bold face on something


Old English bald, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch boud and to German bald soon.