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(pronounced bruh-vah-doh)  noun


1. swaggering or loudly arrogant behavior; pretentious or vainglorious show of courage or defiance. 2. a false display of bravery or boldness, often to impress, mislead, or frighten. 3. state of being unwisely bold or venturesome; foolhardiness.

Main Example

  • While he was campaigning in the industrial Midwest, most notably Ohio and Western Pennsylvania which have been hard hit by cheap imports of steel and aluminum, then-candidate Trump promised to redress the peopleís economic grievances by levying tariffs if he were elected president. But most political analysts dismissed his promises as vapid and sheer bravado. Well, President Trumpís recent imposition of steep tariffs on certain imports from China and elsewhere prove that he wasnít bluffing.

Workplace Examples

  • And now, to the new employees in the audience: Let me assure you that the optimistic sales and profit numbers I have just forecasted for 2021 are not just bravado or some pie in the sky. We can do it and we will! Some six or seven years ago, our company was in similar dire straits, but we were able to quickly recover and regain our leadership position in the industry.
  • Most of us are pretty disillusioned with our manager, Glen. During staff meetings, whenever we bring up certain grievances with other departments, say with Marketing or IT, he promises to pursue the issue vigorously, but nothing ever seems to come out in our favor. Itís all just bravado. Between you and me, heís a bit of a milquetoast in front of management.

Other Examples

  • an exec telling someone over a beer: ďOh yeah, during my college years, I did some pretty dumb things while on my motorbike...some of them just to impress the person sitting behind me. I consider myself lucky that none of that bravado got me or my passengers killed or seriously injured.Ē
  • after taking two bullets during a shootout with Syrian President Assadís troops, a leader of the Syrian opposition checking himself out of the makeshift hospital immediately following surgery--and against pleas of doctors--because such bravado helps inspire others to not lose courage and fight on despite overwhelming odds
  • Vladimir Putinís recent display of a concept video showing a new class of nuclear missiles that can easily penetrate U.S. defenses being dismissed by some American talking heads as pre-election bravado designed to impress the Russian voters
  • Before the first of his two fights with then-world boxing heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, challenger Cassius Clay (who won both bouts and who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) was considered absolutely no match for the larger than life Liston. As a result, the young and brash Clayís vociferous claims that he would demolish Liston were universally dismissed as empty bravado.

© 2018 V.J. Singal
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