Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “dare”

dare

verb [I not continuous] (BE BRAVE/RUDE)    /deər/ US  /der/
B2 to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous, or to be rude or silly enough to do something that you have no right to do: I was going to ask if his dog was any better, but I didn't dare in case it had died. [+ (to) infinitive] Everyone in the office complains that he smells awful, but nobody dares (to) mention it to him. Do you dare (to) tell him the news? [+ infinitive without to] I wouldn't dare have a party in my flat in case the neighbours complained. Dare you tell him the news? I daren't/don't dare think how much it's going to cost. I'd never dare (to) talk to my mother the way Ben talks to his. [+ to infinitive] He was under attack for daring to criticize the prime minister. → See also daresayTaking risksGambling and bookmaking daresayGrammar:DareDare is both a main verb and a semi-modal verb.See moreGrammar:Dare, need, ought toandused to (semi-modal verbs)Dare, need, ought to and used to are often called semi-modal because in some ways they are formed like modal verbs and in some ways they are like other main verbs.See more
(Definition of dare verb (BE BRAVE/RUDE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of dare

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Taking risks, but you might be interested in these topics from the Fear and danger topic area:

Definitions of “dare” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

handout

a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More