General English

  • noun an attempt to persuade someone to do something difficult or dangerous
  • verb to be brave enough to do something
  • verb to try to make someone do something dangerous or unusual in order to see how brave they are
  • verb used for telling someone how angry you are


  • adjective good, fantastic. A vogue term in use among teenage gang members. The term, sometimes in the form of an exclamation of approval, was recorded in use among North London schoolboys in 1993 and 1994.

Health Economics

  • acronym forDatabase of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects
    (written as DARE)

Origin & History of “dare”

Dare used to be a widespread Germanic verb, with relatives in Old high German (giturran) and Gothic (gadaursan), but today it survives only in English (the similar-looking Danish turde and Swedish töras are probably not related). It comes via Germanic *ders- from an Indo-European *dhers-, which also produced Greek thrasús ‘bold’ and Old Slavic druzate ‘be bold’. In Old English it was a conjugationally complex verb, with anomalous present and past forms, but most of its oddities have now been ironed out: the past form durst is now on its last legs, and only the 3rd present singular form remains unusual, especially in negative contexts and questions: she daren’t rather than she dares not.