Definition of dare in US English:

dare

verb

  • 1usually with infinitive with or without "to" often with negativeHave the courage to do something.

    ‘a story he dare not write down’
    ‘she leaned forward as far as she dared’
    • ‘Everybody knew what the answer was, but nobody dared to speak up first.’
    • ‘In a society of individualists nobody dare admit to being a conformist.’
    • ‘Almost nobody dares to walk there, due to the snow.’
    • ‘Once Brett passed away, some were ready to say nobody would dare try to fill his shoes.’
    • ‘But nobody had dared to link the Prime Minister with what was being done in his name.’
    • ‘Nobody dared speculate yesterday as to what that margin might be.’
    • ‘He also did not want to get into the position where nobody would dare confront him about the matter.’
    • ‘Nobody in his country dared to befriend him because of his important status.’
    • ‘Nobody even dared to look at me when I ran out: George was shooting daggers at any straying eyes.’
    • ‘I did receive a kind note from a visitor who thanked me for my courage, and for daring to portray Mary in that way.’
    • ‘As only God was considered to be perfect, nobody dared to throw the first stone.’
    • ‘And suddenly I had the impression that there is an invisible line surrounding our cardinal that nobody dares to cross.’
    • ‘When Hampson closes his eyes at the end and bows his head, nobody dares to clap.’
    • ‘A more obvious explanation stares European governments in the face, but nobody dares to act.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nobody dared to dream that they would end up winning three.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘It was a rainy, bleak, and dark midsummer night, when nobody dared even to step through the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    be brave enough, have the courage, pluck up courage, take the risk
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  • 2with object and infinitive Defy or challenge (someone) to do something.

    ‘she was daring him to disagree’
    with object ‘swap with me, I dare you’
    • ‘Christy smirks, daring me to challenge her position.’
    • ‘Buck's eyes glared challengingly at her, daring her to dispute the will.’
    • ‘She looked to Alyx, daring him to challenge her logic.’
    • ‘He looks at me, daring me to challenge his coolness.’
    • ‘Colton still stood there holding the sword as if daring any thief to challenge him.’
    • ‘His blue eyes stared at her challengingly, as if daring her to tell him to move.’
    • ‘He looked me in the eye practically daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘Jonathon's tepid gaze defied her, dared her to lose her temper.’
    • ‘Redfern said he doubted the law would be overturned and dared anyone to challenge it.’
    • ‘Caitlin raised her eyebrows, daring him to disagree.’
    • ‘She smirked at me… challenging me, daring me to prove her accusation wrong… And I couldn't.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His unique eyes challenged hers, daring her to go back on her word.’
    • ‘He looked straight into Heero's eyes, daring him to challenge what he was about to say next.’
    • ‘We glared at each other for a few more seconds, his silver eyes narrowed slightly, daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘Luna could feel a presence around Tiamat that dared people to challenge her.’
    • ‘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 took a step towards me, brown eyes daring me to challenge him.’
    • ‘Tariq walked back onto the court, shrugging his shoulders in a kind of taunt, as if daring someone to challenge his stark conclusion.’
    • ‘Marka's violet eyes glared at him, Simian's light brown ones flashed at her, daring her to challenge him again.’
    challenge, provoke, goad, taunt, defy, summon, invite, bid
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  • 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.’
    • ‘Even now, interviewed thirty years later, the wife yells at the husband for daring the wrath of these wiseguys.’
    • ‘She had never been brave enough to dare even a tame ride around the temple grounds on its back after that.’

noun

  • A challenge, especially to prove courage.

    ‘athletes who eat ground glass on a dare’
    • ‘Scarlet's face lit up as if she had just had the most perfect idea for a dare.’
    • ‘We would camp out in the backyard and run naked through the grass on a dare.’
    • ‘Moffit was not the kind of man to make a brag or take a dare or issue a challenge.’
    • ‘Crazy South African Guy, on a dare, drank five cans of Coke in under ten minutes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Serious suggestions are good too. This is not really a dares request.’
    • ‘The teenager who's later revealed as the injured driver, asks his friend if he'd complete a number of absurd dares.’
    • ‘Glenn Hughes was a toll collector at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel until he auditioned for the San Francisco band on a dare.’
    • ‘They begin a long game of dares, passing the tin back and forth between them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was during recess and I climbed into a first floor classroom window on a dare by Billy Aredo.’
    • ‘It is believed the youngsters started climbing as a dare.’
    • ‘‘They will be fairly straightforward dares, with lots of humour though some might require a bit of skill and gut,’ says Ho.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's the time Morrieson drove his car along the main trunk line 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.’
    • ‘I had randomly approached him and had a little conversation with him due to a dare Riley had challenged me to.’
    • ‘Take on a dare, and demonstrate that you don't always take yourself so seriously.’
    • ‘John told us a funny story that I'd never heard about how he climbed his school's roof for a dare.’
    • ‘His start came at the tender age of 18 when he began performing stand-up comedy on a dare from his University dorm mates.’
    challenge, provocation, goad, taunt
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • I dare say

    • Used to indicate that one believes something is probable.

      ‘I dare say you've heard about her’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Chopin ‘saddens’ the original theme in a manner which is, I daresay, objectively verifiable: the minor key descent is right there on the page.’
      • ‘This must have been a very distressing for all his family but I daresay they got used to it.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘The opening percussions were over-eager-almost, I dare say, off time.’
      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
  • don't you dare

    • Used to order someone threateningly not to do something.

      ‘don't you dare touch me!’
  • how dare you

    • Used to express indignation.

      ‘how dare you talk to me like that!’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

dare

/der//dɛr/