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[bruh-vyoo r-uh, -voo r-uh; Italian brah-voo-rah] /brəˈvyʊər ə, -ˈvʊər ə; Italian brɑˈvu rɑ/
noun, plural bravuras Italian, bravure
[brah-voo-re] /brɑˈvu rɛ/ (Show IPA)
Music. a florid passage or piece requiring great skill and spirit in the performer.
a display of daring; brilliant performance.
Music. spirited; florid; brilliant (applied chiefly to vocal but occasionally to instrumental compositions).
Origin of bravura
1780-90; < Italian: spirit, dash. See brave, -ure
Can be confused
bravery, bravado, bravura. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bravura
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The brushwork is indicated with much dash and bravura, in the manner of the painter as distinct from the print-designer.

    Chats on Japanese Prints Arthur Davison Ficke
  • At least, in Rossinis Stabat Mater, there are no bravura airs.

    The Life of Rossini Henry Sutherland Edwards
  • In the later variations (3, 5, 6, 17) there is little or no bravura.

  • Her bravura business with the Demon Egg-Cup had been simply vile.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • Finally, Scipio has two bravura songs (1, 10) with many passages, the second being remarkable for its length.

British Dictionary definitions for bravura


/brəˈvjʊərə; -ˈvʊərə/
a display of boldness or daring
  1. brilliance of execution
  2. (as modifier): a bravura passage
Word Origin
C18: from Italian: spirit, courage, from bravare to show off, see bravado
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bravura

1788, "piece of music requiring great skill," from Italian bravura "bravery, spirit" (see brave (adj.)). Sense of "display of brilliancy, dash" is from 1813.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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