dare - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participledaring
past tensedared
past participledared
Dare can be used in the following ways:
as an intransitive verb (followed by an infinitive with ‘to’): He doesn’t dare to complain. (without a following infinitive): She never went there on her own – she didn’t dare to.
as a modal verb (followed by an infinitive without ‘to’): No one dared speak. (without a following infinitive): Fight with him if you dare. When dare is a modal verb, the third person singular of the present tense does not end in ‘-s’. When dare is a modal verb, negatives and questions are formed without ‘do’, and the negative dare not can be shortened to daren’t in conversation and in informal writing: Dare he tell her the truth?He dare not/daren’t lie.
as a transitive verb (with an object usually followed by an infinitive with ‘to’): Someone dared him to climb the tree.
  1. 1
    [intransitive] [never progressive] if you dare to do something, you are not afraid to do it, even though it may be dangerous or shocking or may cause trouble for you

    Larry argue with the boss? He wouldn’t dare.

    I drove as fast as I dared.

    dare to do something:

    Andrei Sakharov was one of the few people who dared to protest.

    dare do something:

    Neither of the superpowers would have dared use nuclear weapons.

    dare not do something:

    I daren’t risk offending Audrey’s parents.

    hardly dare:

    I hardly dare to go into the room without first getting permission.

     Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] [never passive] to try to persuade someone to prove that they are not afraid to do something that is dangerous or likely to cause trouble
    I dare you:

    Go on, phone the police. I dare you.

    dare someone to do something:

    The older boys dared Jennings to go up on the roof.