Difference Between Courage and Bravery

Main Difference – Courage vs Bravery

Courage and bravery are two qualities that are often linked together. Although both infer to fearlessness and strength, there is a subtle difference between courage and bravery. Can you be brave without courage? Or can you be courageous without bravery? These questions are worth investigating. But in order to do that, we must know the actual meaning of courage and bravery. Courage is the mental strength to face danger, fear or difficulty whereas bravery is the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening. The main difference between courage and bravery is that bravery implies that there is real or physical danger whereas courage refers to a mental quality.

This article covers,

1. What is Courage – Definition, Meaning and Examples of Usage

2. What is Bravery – Definition, Meaning and Examples of Usage

3.  Key Differences Between Courage and Bravery Difference Between Courage and Bravery - infographic


What is Courage

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. The Oxford dictionary also defines courage as “strength in the face of pain or grief”. As seen from these definitions, courage is a state of mind that gives you strength to face pain, grief, danger or difficulties.

Courage does not necessarily imply danger. That is, although one needs courage to face a dangerous situation, courage is not only required in dangerous situations. For example, you need courage to admit that you have made a mistake, and you need courage to face the loss of a loved one. These situations do not pose any danger, yet they are painful or difficult situations. Thus, you need courage to face them.

The following sentences illustrate how courage is generally used in common usage.

She has the courage to go against the oppressive views of the society.

He fought his illness with courage.

We admired her courage and strength.

It takes courage to admit that you lied.

Tom didn’t have the courage to pull the trigger.

Main Difference - Courage vs Bravery

What is Bravery

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as “the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening”. The Oxford dictionary defines it as “courageous behavior or character”. These definitions confirm the relationship between courage and bravery but do not actually indicate the demarcation between the two qualities. Real danger or physical danger is the factor that differentiates these two qualities. The word bravery is always used for situations that pose danger. For example, the word bravery is always used with people like soldiers, firefighters, policemen, etc. who deal with danger. But it is not usually used for situations where we face pain, grief or difficulties.

Bravery is often associated with fearlessness since it includes not showing fear. A brave person may be afraid of danger, but the difference between a coward and a brave person is that the brave person is ready to hide his fear and face the dangerous situation. To do this, one needs mental strength. As discussed above, this mental strength to face danger is called courage. Thus, one cannot be brave without being courageous.

The soldier received a medal for bravery for rescuing ten wounded soldiers.

The bards sang of the bravery of this legendary knight.

Bravery is not the ability to be scared of nothing, it is the ability to face danger even when scared half to death.

Everyone admired his bravery in the battle.

Difference Between Courage and Bravery

An act of bravery

Difference Between Courage and Bravery


Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Bravery is the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening.


Courage can also be used to situations that do not pose any danger.

Bravery implies that there is physical danger in a situation.


Courage is required to face painful, grievous, difficult or dangerous situations.

Bravery is mainly required in dangerous situations.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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