27 Idioms for Courage: A Guide to Bold Actions


Courage comes in many forms, and sometimes the English language expresses it through idioms – phrases that convey a deeper meaning than the literal words.

For more metaphors for courage, you can explore this link: Metaphors for courage. Additionally, if you’re interested in discovering similes for courage, you can find them here: Similes for courage.

What is an idiom for courage?

Idioms are expressions that might not make sense when taken literally but carry a specific meaning understood by native speakers.

Idioms for courage paint vivid pictures of facing challenges, standing firm, and embracing bravery.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

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What is a metaphor?

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Which of the following is a metaphor?

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What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

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What is an adjective?

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Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What is an abbreviation?

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What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

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What is a verb?

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Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

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“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

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Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

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What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

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Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

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“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Let’s delve into the meanings and usage of each idiom on our list.

Summary

IdiomMeaningSentence
Bite the BulletFace a difficult situation with courage.When the dentist told Tim he needed a root canal, he had to bite the bullet and schedule the appointment.
Take the Bull by the HornsConfront a problem or challenge directly.Rather than avoiding the issue, Sarah decided to take the bull by the horns and discuss her concerns with her teacher.
Brave as a LionExtremely brave or courageous.Despite being scared of heights, Jake climbed to the top of the tree, showing he was as brave as a lion.
Steel One’s NervesPrepare mentally and emotionally for a challenging situation.Before the big game, the athlete took a moment to steel his nerves and focus on the task ahead.
Show One’s MettleDemonstrate one’s ability to face difficulties with spirit and courage.During the crisis, Maria showed her mettle by leading the team with calmness and determination.
Stand TallFace a difficult situation with confidence and courage.Despite the criticism, Maya continued to stand tall and pursue her passion for art.
Face the MusicConfront the consequences of one’s actions bravely.After accidentally breaking the window, Tom knew he had to face the music and admit what happened.
Have a BackbonePossess the courage and determination to stand up for oneself.In negotiations, it’s essential to have a backbone and assert your needs.
To Go Through Fire and WaterEndure any hardship or difficulty with courage.Despite the challenges, the team was ready to go through fire and water to achieve their goal.
Show Some BackboneDemonstrate courage and resilience.In the face of adversity, it’s important to show some backbone and keep moving forward.
Stand Up to SomethingResist or confront a challenging situation.Sarah decided to stand up to bullying by reporting it to the school authorities.
Pluck Up the CourageSummon the courage needed to face a difficult task.After weeks of hesitation, Mike finally plucked up the courage to ask Emily to the school dance.
Square One’s ShouldersFace a challenge with determination and readiness.Before the competition, the athlete squared his shoulders, ready to give his best performance.
Hold One’s GroundStand firm and not yield under pressure.Despite the criticism, Lisa decided to hold her ground and stick to her beliefs.
Stick One’s Neck OutTake a risk or make oneself vulnerable for a cause.Alice decided to stick her neck out and speak up for the rights of animals in her community.
Rise to the OccasionMeet the challenge or demands of a situation with courage.When the team captain got injured, Tom had to rise to the occasion and lead the team to victory.
Throw Oneself into the BreachFace a difficult situation or danger head-on.Despite the uncertainties, the explorer threw himself into the breach, eager to discover what lay beyond.
Buck UpEncourage oneself or others to face a challenging situation.When the team was down, the coach urged them to buck up and give their best in the second half.
Keep a Stiff Upper LipRemain brave and resolute in the face of adversity.Even though she was scared, Emma tried to keep a stiff upper lip during the storm.
Put One’s Best Foot ForwardMake a good impression by showing confidence and capability.During the job interview, Alex aimed to put his best foot forward to secure the position.
Hold One’s OwnMaintain one’s position or defend oneself successfully.Despite the competition, the small business managed to hold its own in the market.
Soldier OnPersist and continue despite difficulties.Even after a setback, the team decided to soldier on and work towards their goal.
Pull Oneself TogetherRegain composure and face a challenging situation with renewed strength.After receiving disappointing news, Sarah took a moment to pull herself together before moving forward.
Take the PlungeTake a bold and decisive step, often into the unknown.Despite the uncertainties, Emily decided to take the plunge and start her own business.
Go Out on a LimbTake a risk or make a bold decision.The scientist decided to go out on a limb and propose a groundbreaking theory.
Stepping Up to the PlateTake on a challenge or responsibility.When the team needed a leader, Sarah was ready to step up to the plate and guide them.
Summon the CourageGather the inner strength needed to face a difficult situation.Before the presentation, Jake had to summon the courage to speak in front of a large audience.
idioms for courage

Idioms for Courage

1. Bite the Bullet

Meaning: To face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage.

In a Sentence: When the dentist told Tim he needed a root canal, he had to bite the bullet and schedule the appointment.

2. Take the Bull by the Horns

Meaning: To confront a problem or challenge directly.

In a Sentence: Rather than avoiding the issue, Sarah decided to take the bull by the horns and discuss her concerns with her teacher.

3. Brave as a Lion

Meaning: Extremely brave or courageous.

In a Sentence: Despite being scared of heights, Jake climbed to the top of the tree, showing he was as brave as a lion.

4. Steel One’s Nerves

Meaning: To prepare mentally and emotionally for a challenging situation.

In a Sentence: Before the big game, the athlete took a moment to steel his nerves and focus on the task ahead.

5. Show One’s Mettle

Meaning: Demonstrate one’s ability to face difficulties with spirit and courage.

In a Sentence: During the crisis, Maria showed her mettle by leading the team with calmness and determination.

6. Stand Tall

Meaning: To face a difficult situation with confidence and courage.

In a Sentence: Despite the criticism, Maya continued to stand tall and pursue her passion for art.

7. Face the Music

Meaning: To confront the consequences of one’s actions bravely.

In a Sentence: After accidentally breaking the window, Tom knew he had to face the music and admit what happened.

8. Have a Backbone

Meaning: To possess the courage and determination to stand up for oneself.

In a Sentence: In negotiations, it’s essential to have a backbone and assert your needs.

9. To Go Through Fire and Water

Meaning: To endure any hardship or difficulty with courage.

In a Sentence: Despite the challenges, the team was ready to go through fire and water to achieve their goal.

10. Show Some Backbone

Meaning: To demonstrate courage and resilience.

In a Sentence: In the face of adversity, it’s important to show some backbone and keep moving forward.

11. Stand Up to Something

Meaning: To resist or confront a challenging situation.

In a Sentence: Sarah decided to stand up to bullying by reporting it to the school authorities.

12. Pluck Up the Courage

Meaning: To summon the courage needed to face a difficult task.

In a Sentence: After weeks of hesitation, Mike finally plucked up the courage to ask Emily to the school dance.

13. Square One’s Shoulders

Meaning: To face a challenge with determination and readiness.

In a Sentence: Before the competition, the athlete squared his shoulders, ready to give his best performance.

14. Hold One’s Ground

Meaning: To stand firm and not yield under pressure.

In a Sentence: Despite the criticism, Lisa decided to hold her ground and stick to her beliefs.

15. Stick One’s Neck Out

Meaning: To take a risk or make oneself vulnerable for a cause.

In a Sentence: Alice decided to stick her neck out and speak up for the rights of animals in her community.

16. Rise to the Occasion

Meaning: To meet the challenge or demands of a situation with courage.

In a Sentence: When the team captain got injured, Tom had to rise to the occasion and lead the team to victory.

17. Throw Oneself into the Breach

Meaning: To face a difficult situation or danger head-on.

In a Sentence: Despite the uncertainties, the explorer threw himself into the breach, eager to discover what lay beyond.

18. Buck Up

Meaning: To encourage oneself or others to face a challenging situation.

In a Sentence: When the team was down, the coach urged them to buck up and give their best in the second half.

19. Keep a Stiff Upper Lip

Meaning: To remain brave and resolute in the face of adversity.

In a Sentence: Even though she was scared, Emma tried to keep a stiff upper lip during the storm.

20. Put One’s Best Foot Forward

Meaning: To make a good impression by showing confidence and capability.

In a Sentence: During the job interview, Alex aimed to put his best foot forward to secure the position.

21. Hold One’s Own

Meaning: To maintain one’s position or defend oneself successfully.

In a Sentence: Despite the competition, the small business managed to hold its own in the market.

22. Soldier On

Meaning: To persist and continue despite difficulties.

In a Sentence: Even after a setback, the team decided to soldier on and work towards their goal.

23. Pull Oneself Together

Meaning: To regain composure and face a challenging situation with renewed strength.

In a Sentence: After receiving disappointing news, Sarah took a moment to pull herself together before moving forward.

24. Take the Plunge

Meaning: To take a bold and decisive step, often into the unknown.

In a Sentence: Despite the uncertainties, Emily decided to take the plunge and start her own business.

25. Go Out on a Limb

Meaning: To take a risk or make a bold decision.

In a Sentence: The scientist decided to go out on a limb and propose a groundbreaking theory.

26. Stepping Up to the Plate

Meaning: To take on a challenge or responsibility.

In a Sentence: When the team needed a leader, Sarah was ready to step up to the plate and guide them.

27. Summon the Courage

Meaning: To gather the inner strength needed to face a difficult situation.

In a Sentence: Before the presentation, Jake had to summon the courage to speak in front of a large audience.

Here are ten quizzes based on the idioms mentioned in the article:

Quiz 1: Bite the Bullet

  1. What does the idiom “Bite the Bullet” mean?
    a) Run away from a problem
    b) Face a difficult situation with courage
    c) Ignore challenges

Quiz 2: Steel One’s Nerves

  1. If someone is “steeling their nerves,” what are they doing?
    a) Becoming more afraid
    b) Preparing mentally for a challenge
    c) Giving up

Quiz 3: Have a Backbone

  1. What trait does someone need to “have a backbone”?
    a) Confidence
    b) Laziness
    c) Stubbornness

Quiz 4: Rise to the Occasion

  1. When do you “rise to the occasion”?
    a) When you avoid challenges
    b) When you meet a challenge with courage
    c) When you fail to act

Quiz 5: Throw Oneself into the Breach

  1. What does it mean to “throw oneself into the breach”?
    a) To avoid danger
    b) To face a difficult situation head-on
    c) To wait for others to solve the problem

Quiz 6: Buck Up

  1. What does it mean to “buck up”?
    a) To encourage oneself or others to face a challenge
    b) To give in to fear
    c) To avoid challenges altogether

Quiz 7: Keep a Stiff Upper Lip

  1. What does it mean to “keep a stiff upper lip”?
    a) To remain calm and brave in difficult situations
    b) To cry and express emotions openly
    c) To panic and lose control

Quiz 8: Pull Oneself Together

  1. What does it mean to “pull oneself together”?
    a) To remain scattered and disorganized
    b) To regain composure and face a challenge
    c) To give up and walk away

Quiz 9: Take the Plunge

  1. What does it mean to “take the plunge”?
    a) To avoid risks
    b) To make a bold decision or take a bold step
    c) To hesitate and procrastinate

Quiz 10: Summon the Courage

  1. What does it mean to “summon the courage”?
    a) To give up when faced with difficulty
    b) To gather the inner strength needed to face a challenge
    c) To ignore problems and pretend they don’t exist

These quizzes should help reinforce the meanings of the idioms and test the reader’s understanding.

Conclusion

Courage is not just a word; it’s a series of actions, and these idioms beautifully capture the essence of facing challenges with determination.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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