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[dair] /dɛər/
Virginia, 1587–? first child born of English parents in the Western Hemisphere. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for virginia dare
Historical Examples
  • The "virginia dare" was a beautiful boat, and the weather was perfect--just the weather for a cruise in Southern waters.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
British Dictionary definitions for virginia dare


(transitive) to challenge (a person to do something) as proof of courage
(can take an infinitive with or without to) to be courageous enough to try (to do something): she dares to dress differently from the others, you wouldn't dare!
(transitive) (rare) to oppose without fear; defy
I dare say, I daresay
  1. (it is) quite possible (that)
  2. probably: used as sentence substitute
a challenge to do something as proof of courage
something done in response to such a challenge
Derived Forms
darer, noun
Usage note
When used negatively or interrogatively, dare does not usually add -s: he dare not come; dare she come? When used negatively in the past tense, however, dare usually adds -d: he dared not come
Word Origin
Old English durran; related to Old High German turran to venture
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 virginia dare



from first and third person singular of Old English durran "to brave danger, dare; venture, presume," from Proto-Germanic *ders- (cf. Old Norse dearr, Old High German giturran, Gothic gadaursan), from PIE *dhers- "to dare, be courageous" (cf. Sanskrit dadharsha "to be bold;" Old Persian darš- "to dare;" Greek thrasys "bold;" Old Church Slavonic druzate "to be bold, dare;" Lithuanian dristi "to dare," drasus "courageous").

An Old English irregular preterite-present verb: darr, dearst, dear were first, second and third person singular present indicative; mostly regularized 16c., though past tense dorste survived as durst, but is now dying, persisting mainly in northern English dialect. Meaning "to challenge or defy (someone)" is first recorded 1570s.


1590s, from dare (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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